SINGAPORE, March 4 (Reuters) - Nelly Korda endured a painful Sunday as she came up agonisingly short of winning her first LPGA Tour event and completing a rare family double after American compatriot Michelle Wie drained a monster putt from off the 18th green to seal a one-shot victory.
Korda started the final round of the HSBC Women’s World Championship with a one-stroke lead and poised to follow-up elder sibling Jessica’s victory in Thailand last week and become the first sisters to win back-to-back LPGA events since 2000.
The 19-year-old made a slow start while her pursuers quickly ate into her lead, yet despite Wie’s heroics, Korda was just one shot behind on the 72nd hole and plonked her approach to within nine feet knowing a birdie would send the pair into a playoff.
Korda spent an age lining up the putt as an anxious Jessica looked on from behind the green, but her effort soon drifted off target as she was left to be consoled by her sister and ponder what might have been after a torturous near-miss.
“I had a bunch of putts that were really close and a lot of them lipped and burned edges. It definitely hurts, but that’s golf,” Korda told reporters after signing for a one-under-par 71 to finish the tournament on 16-under.
“There’s going to be another tournament. There’s going to be another feeling like this. Just have to keep going forward.”
“I definitely fought till the end. That’s definitely 100 percent true. But I mean, sometimes it just doesn’t work out, but I’m proud of myself for fighting till the end.”
While a majority of the field were picking up shots all over the course, Korda and playing partners Danielle Kang and Brooke Henderson struggled on the inward nine as the trio ended in a four-way tie for second alongside South Korean Jenny Shin.
“Just had like a tough back nine. I mean, we only had two birdies on the back nine. Brooke made birdie on 18 and I made a birdie on 10. Other than that, we weren’t making any putts on the back nine,” Korda added.
“I still felt good on the last and hit it really close. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the putt, but that’s golf. There’s going to be more.” (Reporting by John O’Brien; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)