Paradise Island, Bahamas – Jessica Korda birdied the last two holes Sunday to overtake Stacy Lewis and earn a one-stroke victory at the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Korda putted from behind the green to within 6 feet and made the birdie putt on the final hole to finish with a 7-under-par 66 and a 19-under-par 273 total.
Third-round leader Na Yeon Choi was among four players who tied for third at 16 under par on the 6,644-yard, par-73 Ocean Club Golf Course. Choi closed with a 72.
It was the second LPGA win for Korda, who started the day three strokes behind Choi but one in front of Lewis. Lewis started fast with birdies on six of the first eight holes and then birdied the par-4 14th hole to take the lead, but she finished with five pars that opened the door for Korda.
“It wasn’t a hard decision at all,” said Korda of her choice to putt from off the green on the final hole after having a choice for a free drop because of interfering television cables. “I felt I had a good lie there. It looked too difficult on either side so I just stayed right where I was. I remember when I had the pleasure of playing with Jack Nicklaus, he told me a bad putt is always better than a bad chip.”
Lewis also finished with a 7-under 66, but a poor chip on the final hole led to a par while Korda, playing in the group behind Lewis, recovered from the same area to make birdie.
“I only birdied the 18th hole once this week and that made the difference,” said Lewis, No. 3 in the Rolex World Rankings. “Three of the four days I went over the green to the same place, so obviously that wasn’t the place to be. But you are not doing a lot wrong if you a finish second. And that’s what I’ll take away from this week.”
Lydia Ko, a 16-year-old who was playing in her first event as an LPGA Tour member, earned a top-10 finish after a final round of 68. Ko, who was a co-leader after the first round, finished at 15 under par.