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Tokyo-Bound Nelly Korda Claims Women’s PGA Championship, First Major For U.S. Woman Since 2018

By Steve Drumwright | June 27, 2021, 7:18 p.m. (ET)

Nelly Korda poses with the trophy after at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship June 27, 2021 in Johns Creek, Georgia.

 

Her family might be better known for tennis, but Nelly Korda is making a name for herself in golf.

The 22-year-old from Bradenton, Florida, coasted to her first LPGA major victory Sunday, winning the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship by three shots over fellow American Lizette Salas. She shot a final-round 68 for a 19-under total of 269 at the par-72 Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Georgia. Salas finished with a final-round 71.

Korda becomes the first American to win a major since Angela Stanford won the 2018 Evian Championship, and the first U.S. player to win the Women’s PGA since Danielle Kang in 2017. Korda threatened the majors record of 21 under par until a double-bogey on No. 15. In Gee Chun of South Korea holds that mark from the 2016 Evian.

Korda’s victory — her second in as many weeks, the third this year and sixth of her career — also secured her spot for the U.S. in the Tokyo Olympics, as this weekend wraps up the Olympic qualifying period. She entered the tournament third in the Olympic Golf Rankings. Korda is also primed to take over the No. 1 spot in the world rankings.

Korda’s father, Petr, who won tennis’ Australian Open in 1998 and once was ranked No. 2 in the world, while her mother, Regina Rajchrtova, played for the Czech Republic in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Her brother, Sebastian, won the junior boys’ title at the 2018 Australian Open.

However, Nelly’s sister, Jessica, also plays golf and could join her at the Tokyo Olympics. Jessica Korda, who is six years older, entered the final weekend of qualifying 13th in the Olympic Golf Rankings. Jessica Korda finished tied for 15th at the Women’s PGA.

Two other Americans began the weekend in position to also go to Tokyo. Kang was sixth in the OGR and Lexi Thompson seventh. Kang finished tied for fifth and Thompson tied for 52nd.

Korda, who shot a second-round 63, entered the final round tied with Salas, five shots ahead of the next player. Korda took the lead for good with a birdie on the third hole and then started to separate herself with an eagle-3 on the fifth hole, which Salas birdied.

It was all pars for Korda until the par-5 12th hole, where she made her second eagle of the day. She added a birdie on No. 14 before her double bogey on No. 15.

Salas, meanwhile, had her only other birdie on No. 6, then bogeyed No. 12.

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a journalist based in Murrieta, California. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.