It wasn’t quite a full helping of revenge for Nelly Korda at the Lacoste Ladies French Open, but an eight-stroke victory over European Solheim Cup hero Celine Boutier in the Ladies European Tour event provided the burgeoning American star some solace after the previous weekend’s disappointment at Gleneagles.
The 21-year-old Korda went 3-0-1 as a rookie for United States team at last week’s Solheim Cup, but watched from behind the 18th green as Suzann Pettersen rolled a birdie putt to clinch the overall victory for Europe. Korda continued her own strong play at the Chateaux Course at Golf du Medoc, holding a one-shot lead over Joanna Klatten entering Sunday’s final round. Korda then shot a four-under 67, with four birdies on the back nine, while Klatten faltered with a closing 76. Boutier’s even-par 71 pushed her into second place, while another European Solheim Cup team member, Caroline Hedwall, finished T-3 with Klatten, 10 strokes behind Korda.
“I was consistent and hit a lot of fairways and greens, so I gave myself a lot of opportunities and my putting was quite good,” said Korda after winning her first LET title and her fourth tournament as a professional. “I played really well last week and unfortunately we didn’t get the win, but I’ve been playing really solidly. I played a KLPGA event a couple of weeks before Solheim and I finished second there, so I’m playing really solid and hopefully I can do it again.”
With seven events left in the LPGA season, Korda is eighth in the Race to the CME Globe standings. Catching top-ranked Jin Young Ko, a four-time LPGA winner this season, will be a challenge; Korda as 1,924 points on the year but is 1,435 back of Ko. But with the points being wiped out during the CME Group Tour Championship, if Korda can keep her game sharp she is a logical dark-horse choice to claim the season-ending title and winner’s $1.5 million payday.