Golf: Lydia Ko’s terrific late charge falls short in Orlando

Lydia’s Ko’s long wait for another golf title goes on.

A brilliant finish from the Kiwi always looked likely to fall short in the latest LPGA event, in which 22-year-old American Nelly Korda gained her first title on home soil.

After leading at the halfway stage in the Gainbridge LPGA at Orlando, Ko finished in a tie for second with American Lexi Thompson, three shots back.

Ko, the longtime world number one, dropped to 55 in the rankings last year, and went into this tournament at 29th.

She hasn’t won a title for three years and after a promising start in Orlando the wait continues.

Korda made her charge in the third round and finished with 12 straight pars in a bogey-free final round which put her at 16-under for the tournament.

Ko strung together four consecutive birdies to start putting some pressure on Korda over the last nine hole, getting within three shots of the leader.

Korda spun the ball off the green on the 15th, produced a brilliant recovery shot, then saw her putt roll around the rim of the hole before dropping in a decisive moment.

Meanwhile Ko’s long putt on the 16th for a fifth consecutive birdie never looked close, and it was challenge over. She was three under on her final round.

It was world number four Korda’s fourth title overall. Her older sister Jessica won the previous LPGA event in Florida five weeks ago.

“Honestly I did not play really good golf today – I just stayed solid,” Korda said.

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