1, -25 (263) – Jessica Korda
T2, -21 (267) – Lexi Thompson, Moriya Jutanugarn
PATTAYA, Thailand (February 25, 2018) Jessica Korda claims Honda LPGA THAILAND 2018 title after having a lead throughout the four-day tournament, marking the American’s fifth LPGA win in her career.
The star-studded Honda LPGA THAILAND 2018 has come to a close after another fantastic season. The final round of the sole LPGA tournament in Thailand is wrapping up with success after four days of events reflecting sensational golf games, thirst for world-class sports competition in Thailand and happening hangout fests, resulting in nearly a total of 50,000 attendance recorded.
JESSICA KORDA WINS IN THAILAND FOR FIRST LPGA VICTORY SINCE 2015
Jessica Korda completed her wire-to-wire dominance at the Honda LPGA Thailand with a 5-under 67 to finish at 25-under 263, which shatters the tournament record, on Sunday to win by four strokes over Lexi Thompson and Moriya Jutanugarn. Korda collects her first trophy since 2015 in her first start of 2018.
“I can’t believe it, today was such a blur, I was just trying to make birdies. I tried to relax, but I was nervous,” said Korda, who made 25 birdies and three eagles on the week. “This (Honda LPGA Thailand) was my first event my rookie year. I played really, really well this week.”
The 24-year-old Korda, who will celebrate her 25th birthday on Tuesday, made two birdies and a bogey over the front nine on Sunday. Jutanugarn pulled within two shots early on the back nine and electrified the record crowds at Siam C.C., but Korda canned birdies on 11, 13 and 15 and cruised to her fifth career win on the LPGA.
Korda put an exclamation mark on the championship with a 25-foot birdie on 17 followed an emphatic fist pump and a dazzling smile.
It’s a rather remarkable win for Korda considering she is coming off a tough offseason where she had double jaw surgery to solve the frequent headaches she was having.
Korda had no expectations heading into the week other than to knock off the rust. She certainly did that and she’ll also leave with a trophy.
For more of Bret Lasky’s Five Things to Know from the Honda LPGA Thailand, visit http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-final-round-honda-lpga-five-things
NOTABLE AND QUOTABLE
Jessica Korda (263, -25)
“I was just staying patient. Lucky I had the four-stroke lead because these girls. My God, these girls are good. It was really, really intense coming down the stretch. I knew I had to keep my head down and try and make birdies and they would eventually fall.”
Moriya Jutanugarn (267, -21)
“I make a putt for eagle on 15, and like Jess was like, Oh, my God. All the crowd was really loud. That’s kind of shock for me. She’s like, This is a really cool place to play. There is a lot of support out there.”
Lexi Thompson (267, -21)
“I don’t think any of us doubt how talented Jessica is. I think it shows coming out after surgery and that few-month break she had how much talent she actually has. She’s a player to always look out for.”
THAILAND IS TRULY AMAZING FOR JESSICA KORDA
The motto of Tourism Thailand is simple – Amazing Thailand. It was truly an amazing week for Jessica Korda, who took home her fifth LPGA victory on Sunday and culminated what has been a tumultuous three-month stretch for the 24-year-old from Bradenton, Fla.
It was Dec. 7, 2017, when Korda underwent a three-hour surgery to remedy a lifetime of jaw pain, excruciating headaches and sleepless nights. With 27 screws still holding her jaw together, Korda came to Thailand, the site of her first LPGA tournament as a professional in 2011, with no thoughts of hoisting the trophy. She just wanted to play.
“I just came with no expectations after surgery. It’s really hard for me to move,” said Korda, who literally had to pause during her post-tournament photo shoot to give her jaw a rest from all the smiling. “All this stuff is just still really hard, but I’m really, really happy that I chose to come back in this event exactly where I started my rookie year in 2011. I don’t think I could have asked for a better win.”
Korda pointed to foot massages, Pad Thai and mango sticky rice as some of her favorite things about Thailand. While she was able to enjoy much of the food, one big problem kept her from experiencing the massages for which Thailand is famous.
“I had such late tee times, which is a good thing,” said Korda with a big laugh.
STATISTICAL DOMINANCE FOR JESSICA KORDA IN THAILAND
Jessica Korda’s week at the 2018 Honda LPGA Thailand was nearly a total rewrite of the tournament history books. Her 72-hole score of 25-under 263 shattered the previous mark of 22-under 266, set by Amy Yang in 2017. Her 36-hole score of 16-under 128 broke the previous record of 130 set by Suzann Pettersen in 2010 and Stacy Lewis in 2015, and her 54-hole score of 20-under 196 ties Pettersen’s record set in 2007.
Korda’s second-round 62 was the lowest round of her LPGA career, and was her first 10-under round since she shot a 62 en route to victory at the 2010 South Atlantic Women’s Amateur Championship, also known as the SALLY. That 62 was also the lowest round in the history of the Honda LPGA Thailand, besting the nine 63s shot since the tournament began in 2006 and returned most recently by Beatriz Recari in the fourth round of 2015.
ROLEX WOMEN’S WORLD GOLF RANKINGS UPDATE
With her win in Thailand, Jessica Korda is projected to vault from No. 26 to No. 12 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. This will be the highest ranking of Korda’s career, having reached No. 15 in 2014.
Lexi Thompson is projected to reach No. 2 in the Rankings, which ties the highest ranking of her career. She held the No. 2 position for six weeks in 2017.
Shanshan Feng is projected to remain at World No. 1 for the 16th consecutive week.
The Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings will officially update on Monday, Feb. 26, at 9 a.m. Eastern.
CME GROUP CARES WEEKENDS EAGLES
CME Group Cares Weekend is a season-long charitable giving program that turns eagles into donations. For each eagle recorded during weekend play (Saturday and Sunday) throughout the 2018 LPGA Tour season, CME Group donates $1,000 to the program’s total donation count. The money raised will go towards a charitable pool and be split evenly between Wounded Warrior Project® and Bright Pink®.
The weekend at the Honda LPGA Thailand saw an astounding 26 eagles, which translates to $40,000 raised on the year. Jessica Korda and Peiyun Chien each had three eagles over the weekend in Thailand.
(Transcripts can be found at http://asaptext.com/orgs/lpga/363/)
The 2018 edition has gathered golf fans, spectators, and families – all in a distinctly laid back atmosphere. Golf enthusiasts of all ages came to enjoy the competition and many off-course activities at the site. The crowd were seen indulging in a variety of off course activities for families, such as golf school, the “Chip-for-Charity” contest, several local and international food and beverage offerings and live concerts each evening after playing finishes.
Above all, the players remain the true protagonists of the tournament, and this season boasts one of the strongest player fields the Honda LPGA THAILAND has ever had. Thousands of fans came to cheer for their favorites, especially on the concluding day which saw an exciting battle between several LPGA stars, including the Korda and Jutanugarn sisters, Australia’s Minjee Lee and past champions Lexi Thompson and Amy Yang.
For more details about Honda LPGA THAILAND 2018, please visit www.hondalpgathailand.com and www.facebook.com/lpgaThailand
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