For the first time in nearly three years, an American has won an LPGA major championship.
Nelly Korda has ended an 0-for-11 U.S. drought by winning the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club on Sunday.
Korda, 22, and Lizette Salas, 31, started the final round at 15 under, five shots clear of the field after 54 holes, setting the stage for one of them to break through. Angela Stanford was the last American to win a major at the Evian Championship in September 2018.
Korda made a move early, making birdie at the third. Then on the 5th, she gave herself a kick-in eagle after ripping a 7-wood from 243 yards out.
Spectacular shot by @NellyKorda! #KPMGWomensPGA pic.twitter.com/2HLFvVqNhj
— KPMGWomensPGA (@KPMGWomensPGA) June 27, 2021
Salas birdied the hole but Korda moved ahead by a shot. Korda later eagled the par-5 12th while Salas bogeyed the hole, opening up a four-shot lead with six holes left.
On the 14th, Korda poured in a 20-footer for birdie to get to 21 under and a five-shot lead. She doubled the next hole but went to the last with a three-shot lead.
Women’s PGA Championship: Leaderboard | Photos
She closed the win out from there with a par on the last for a final-round 68 to finish at 19 under for her sixth LPGA victory, tying her sister Jessica. Americans have now won five LPGA titles this season. Salas finished solo second at 16 under. Kyo Joo Kim and Guilia Molinaro finished tied for third at 10 under. Danielle Kang and Patty Tavatanakit finished tied for fifth at 8 under.
Korda is now projected to ascend to the No. 1 spot in the Rolex rankings. Stacy Lewis was the last American to be ranked No. 1 in 2014. Nelly Korda has also moved to No. 1 in the Race to CME Globe standings.
On Friday, Korda became the fifth player in Women’s PGA history to shoot a 63, joining Patty Sheehan (1984), Meg Mallon (1999), Kelly Shon (2017) and Sei Young Kim (2020).