American star Jessica Korda produced an impressive final round Sunday to grab the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia title with a four-stroke victory in her first triumph this year.
The 22-year-old daughter of former Australian Open tennis champion Petr Korda overcame a stiff challenge from Lydia Ko and defending champion Feng Shanshan to secure her win.
“I had a great day. It is just an incredible feeling. I was calm,” Korda said after winning as fellow players poured juice on her to celebrate a flawless day on the hot and humid course.
An ever-smiling Korda who had hit six birdies to take a two shot lead in the third round Saturday, displayed a magic formula of calmness, accurate long shots and deft touch on her putts to dominate the final day.
Korda produced another round of consistent performance with seven birdies and a bogey for a 65 to finish 18 under-par ahead of her determined rivals.
Ko, a South Korea-born New Zealander, was hot on her American rival’s heels with six birdies, but a bogey on the 13th hole played obstacle to spoil her hopes for a third consecutive victory following successes at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open and Evian Championship last month.
Second ranked Ko, who became the youngest woman’s major champion at 18, finished seven strokes ahead to close the points gap significantly with world number one Park Inbee.
Favourite Park, who poured in a field-high eight birdies on Friday, only managed two birdies against three bogeys to post one-over 72.
Meanwhile China’s Feng Shanshan five birdies for a five-under 66 also failed to challenge a calm Korda.
The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is first of five consecutive Asian events.
The LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship takes place next week in South Korea, followed by stops in Taiwan, China and Japan.
The tour then returns to North America for the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico and the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida. – Agence France-Presse