Nelly Korda made a nice run at trying to become the first back-to-back winner in the history of the Meijer LPGA Classic, but she just didn’t have it on Sunday at Blythefield Country Club. On a golf course where birdies are plentiful, Korda shot 2-over 38 on her opening nine, and knew she was in some trouble. The best she could do on Sunday was 72, ending a run of 15 consecutive rounds in the 60s at Blythefield Country Club, a place she loves.
“Can’t really do that out here,” Korda said of her opening nine. “You have to capitalize on those par-5s. I fought my way back on the back nine and snuck into the playoff.”
She did, making birdie on her final hole of regulation. In the first hole of the playoff, also the par-5 18th, Korda had to take an approach up and over a tree on the left side, and ball bounded to the back of the green, some 50 feet from the hole. She actually stroked her putt for birdie before eventual winner Jennifer Kupcho even attempted the 3-foot putt she faced for eagle. When Korda missed her birdie attempt from 6 feet, her hopes were dashed. Shockingly, Kupcho then missed her eagle putt. Birdie would have been good enough for Korda to play another hole.
“Yeah, my lag putting was not the greatest this week,” she said. “I think I had like six three-putts throughout the entire week, so it’s something that I can work on and improve and hopefully it’s better into next week.”
Korda can take solace in the fact that, after three-plus months off, she has finishes of T8 (U.S. Women’s Open) and T2 (Meijer LPGA Classic). She was off to Maryland, where this week she will defend her title at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.