Nelly Korda makes late run up leaderboard at ANA Inspiration a year after playoff loss
Korda, who lost the tournament in a playoff last year with Brooke Henderson and winner Mirim Lee, fired a 6-under 66 on Sunday at Mission Hills Country Club. That pushed her to 11-under for the week and into a four-way tie for third, though she finished seven shots behind winner Patty Tavatanakit.
“Figured out my putting today, which sucks on the final day,” Korda said. “I put together a good score and I’m happy I kind of climbed the leaderboard today.”
Lee started the day in second place at 9-under but managed just an even-par 72 on Sunday to finish tied for ninth. Henderson made an early move on the day but finished at just 70 for the day and a tie for 19th.
Kerr’s best round
Hours before Lydia Ko’s big round Sunday, veteran Cristie Kerr was having a big round of her own. Kerr fired a 7-under 65 in the morning, which at the time was the best round of the week. Surprisingly, it is also Kerr’s lowest round in her 23 starts in the ANA.
“You know, I had nothing to lose and I had been playing so good all week until the back nine, and I was just like, This is payback today. Like I’m just going to go for it,” Kerr said. “And I started out of the gates really strong birdieing the first hole, getting a good break to stay in bounds on the second hole, and I made eagle. I just stiffed a 3-wood, and I just — all day I just kind of played with no fear.
“So just ecstatic with my round today,” Kerr added. “I had a couple other putts that could have gone in as well. I hit it so good, and my caddie and I were in lock step out there. My long-standing full-time caddie is about to have a baby, so it’s a pretty exciting day.”
A winner of 20 LPGA titles including two majors, Kerr has never won the ANA Inspiration. She finished second in the event in 2009 when Brittany Lincicome won the title.
A national record
Aditi Ashok finished well off the pace on Sunday, but she still had a record-tying week.
The Indian star has now played in 16 professional major championships, tying Anirban Lahiri for the most majors played by an Indian golf professional.
“It means a lot. And of course from my rookie year, in my rookie year I played all the five majors so it’s always been my goal to be at the majors and play well there,” she said. “I think I’m getting better, getting a little bit more experience with it. Yeah, of course means a lot, especially coming from India where golf isn’t that big and women’s golf is still not as big as men’s golf is. Yeah, it means a lot being an Indian at every major.”