Emotional Korda tops Ko in Malaysia to end barren LPGA run

Sun Oct 11, 2015 3:38am EDT
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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - American Jessica Korda ended a miserable run of form in emphatic style by holding off world number two Lydia Ko to win the $2 million LPGA Malaysia on Sunday for her fourth career title.

The 22-year-old held a two-shot lead overnight and fired a final round six-under-par 65 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club for an 18-under 266 total, four clear of the in-form Ko (66) who was gunning for a third straight LPGA title.

Korda, in contrast, had managed just one top 10 this year and had failed to make the cut in five of her last six events to tumble down to 50th in the world rankings and almost miss out on a spot in the field in Malaysia.

Her surprise victory against a high-caliber field in punishing humid conditions left her understandably emotional.

"Just to win again is amazing especially after the year I have had," said Korda, who began crying before holing out on the last.

The poor form led to her telling U.S. Solheim Cup skipper Juli Inskter that she wasn't worthy of a captain's pick for last month's matches against Europe which the Americans won without her.

But a new coach and some quality time back in Florida helped spark a transformation.

"Just three weeks at home with my coach and family and working a lot on physical aspects and found a love for the game back," Korda said when asked about the turnaround.

"My boyfriend and I played a lot with my sister and I just enjoyed my time at home and came here refreshed."   Continued...

Jessica Korda plays out of a greenside bunker on the ninth hole during the first round in a file photo. Jake Roth-USA TODAY