Korda triumphs as Perth’s Naveed claims second at Ford Championship

    Korda closed with seven-under-par 65 on Sunday to turn a two-shot third-round deficit into a two-stroke victory at the LPGA Tour’s Ford Championship.

    The rampant World No.1 is the first American since Joanne Carner in 1980 to win three times before April.

    “It just honestly feels like a blur,” Korda said after finishing at 20-under for the championship.

    “(I was) taking it day by day really, trying to stay very present. I just played really good golf, really solid stuff in tough conditions today.”

    In just her second LPGA Tour start, Naveed’s final-round 66 left the 26-year-old alone in second spot.

    Hira Naveed took World No.1 Nelly Korda down to the wire on Sunday at the Ford Championship. PHOTO: Getty Images.

    The Kiwi-born Aussie, who climbed the ranks at Pepperdine University in the U.S college system, only made the halfway cut on the record-low five-under number.

    But she burst into life over the weekend, shooting 65-66 to soar up the leaderboard.

    “It’s just breathing a sigh of relief really and just saying, ‘All right, put your head down, there is scoring opportunities out there’,” Naveed said.

    “Just go out there and try to do the best you can, commit to every shot, and try and hole some putts.

    “(I’m) so happy to (have done) that on the weekend.”

    The first player of Pakistani heritage to make it to the LPGA Tour, Naveed had a share of the Sunday lead with four birdies down the stretch.

    She needed to birdie the par-5 last to maintain the pressure on Korda, but could only manage a par.

    Her runner-up showing has all but earned Naveed enough points in the season-long standings to clinch her playing card for 2025.

    Fellow first-year tour player Gabriela Ruffels (69) was the next best Australian in a tie for 13th at 15-under.

    Hannah Green, who had been the halfway leader after shooting a second-round 61, shared 21st spot one stroke further back following a Sunday 69.

     – Darren Walton.

    © Golf Australia. All rights reserved.

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