Nelly Korda overturned a seven-shot deficit and clinched victory in the Aramco Team Series Sotogrande after an extraordinary final day at La Reserva Club in Spain.
The world No.3 reined in her sister Jessica – the runaway 36-hole leader – and surged clear to win by three shots on 13-under-par. Her elder sister, Anna Pelaez and Pauline Roussin shared second spot.
Jessica looked to be in a near-impregnable position at the start of the day, holding a six-shot advantage from Roussin. But she allowed the chasing pack back into the tournament by frittering away shots through the front nine.
Roussin was first to take advantage of Jessica’s problems and grabbed the lead by holing a 15-foot putt on the 10th green. But the young French star four-putted for a triple bogey at the next where Jessica temporarily stopped the rot with a much-needed birdie. It was only a temporary respite for the American, however, as she dropped shots at 13 and 14.
And while all this drama had been unfolding, Nelly Korda had been making serene progress, almost unnoticed. She was ten strokes adrift at one stage, but three straight birdies from the seventh saw her edge into contention. The reigning Olympic champion repeated the trick from the 12th, and all of a sudden she moved to 13-under to grab the lead on her own.
Her position of supremacy never came under serious threat in the closing stages and she finished up shooting 67 – 10 less than Jessica – to secure her second Ladies European Tour title three years after landing the French Open.
Korda, 24, said: “I’m super excited to win, I haven’t won this year, so it feels nice to get a win under my belt, but I’m also very sad as it wasn’t the day Jess was expecting. I guess we were hoping for a bit more of a battle going down the stretch, but it’s golf and that sometimes happens. I was over par for the majority of the front nine, but I went on a little nice run. I just stuck to it and told myself that there’s a lot of opportunities out there and hopefully I can capitalise on them.”
Some of the biggest cheers of the day were for crowd favourite Pelaez, playing 90 minutes from her home in Malaga. The rising star of Spanish women’s golf battled all the way to end to shoot 69, including an up-and-down for par at the last, which earned her a runners-up spot finish alongside Jessica Korda and Roussin.
Jessica had the consolation of winning the team event the previous day, combining with Tereza Melecka, Noora Komulainen and amateur Malcolm Borwick to seal victory on 33-under-par, with Pauline Roussin’s team just one shot behind in second.
For all the scores, click here.