Jessica Korda birdies last hole to win Bahamas LPGA Classic

Jessica Korda fired a seven-under-par 66 and finished with a 19-under winning total of 273.

Updated: January 27, 2014 10:16 IST
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Paradise Island, Bahamas: Jessica Korda's unusual birdie at the 72nd hole lifted her to a one-shot triumph over Stacy Lewis Sunday in the season-opening Bahamas LPGA Classic.

Tied for the lead with Lewis as she arrived at the Ocean Club Golf Course's par-five finishing hole, Korda found the fairway with her drive.

Her second shot went through the back of the green, stopping near some cables at the base of the grandstand.

Her caddie and a tournament official held the cables up as she putted onto the green to within five feet of the pin, and when she converted the birdie her the 20-year-old's second LPGA Tour victory was complete.

"That was different -- it was like a jump rope," said Korda, calling the win "Incredible".

She said she was so nervous she "could barely put the golf ball down" for her final putt.

Korda fired a seven-under-par 66 and finished with a 19-under winning total of 273.

Her previous LPGA Tour win came at the 2012 Women's Australian Open, the season-opening event in February of that year.

"I don't know, maybe I pay attention more to detail, and I'm more relaxed out here," of the fact that her two wins have both come in season-opening events. "I don't know, but whatever it is I need to figure it out and do it more often."

Lewis, who played a group ahead of Korda, also shot 66 and was alone in second on 18-under 274.

Overnight leader Choi Na-Yeon of South Korea carded a 72 to finish tied for third on 276, level with Americans Paula Creamer (69) and Lizette Salas (71) and Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum (67).

Lydia Ko shot 68 and shared seventh with three others on 277 in her first LPGA Tour event as a member.

The 16-year-old New Zealander, who won four professional tournaments as an amateur before turning pro last year, was the first player since Korda to successfully petition LPGA Tour commissioner Michael Whan for early membership.

Korda charged into contention courtesy of a seven-hole stretch that included five birdies.

She needed to go low in the optimum scoring conditions, the sun-splashed course offering a contrast to last year's rain-shortened inaugural event.

Lewis got off to a hot start with birdies at six of her first eight holes.

She finished her round with five straight pars, unable to get up and down for birdie from behind the green at 18.

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