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World No. 1 extends LPGA winning streak at Shadow Creek

Updated April 7, 2024 - 7:42 pm

There really wasn’t any doubt in the end.

Nelly Korda arrived in Las Vegas as the hottest player in golf. She left Sunday night with yet another trophy – her fourth in a row – after dominating Leona Maguire 4 and 3 in the championship match of the T-Mobile Match Play at Shadow Creek.

The final score was not reflective of the the actual match, which Korda controlled from the start. She ran off three consecutive birdies to move to 4 up after seven holes and was never threatened by her Solheim Cup rival.

“Hats off to her,” Maguire said, deflated. “She is an incredible player and she is playing some great golf right now. All I could do is play my own game and that wasn’t good enough today.”

It’s not clear if anyone could have kept up with Korda on Sunday. Korda had four birdies her first seven holes on a course where pars are good scores,

“This golf course is so tough,” Korda said of her strategy. “Stay in your own bubble, hit fairways, hit greens and try not to make mistakes, and I did that today.”

Korda’s win streak began in late January in Florida when she won the Drive-On Championship in Bradenton. She skipped the entire seven-week Asia swing and returned to win outside of Los Angeles and Phoenix the last two weeks. The victory in Las Vegas was her fourth in a row and 12th career title.

“I can’t even wrap my head around it honestly. Such a whirlwind the last three weeks. I just feel like I was just in go-mode constantly,” Korda said.

Korda’s quest for five in a row comes in two weeks at the year’s first major, the Chevron Championship. A win would match Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam for the longest streak in LPGA Tour history.

Korda will get some much-needed rest and time at home before then. She has had just one day off the course over the previous 20 days.

“Yeah, it’s the little things in life. Just sleeping in your own bed,” Korda said, laughing.

Korda becomes the first player to win four straight starts since Lorena Ochoa in 2008. She is the first American to win four of her first five starts in a season since Kathy Whitworth, Korda’s golf idol.

“I used to play in her event growing up, the Kathy Whitworth Invitational in Texas, and meeting her and getting to talk to her was always the highlight of my year,” Korda said. “She was always so, so nice, so getting compared to Kathy Whitworth is a huge honor.”

Korda’s streak has included wins in a variety of conditions and a wide mixture of courses. She said none were as challenging as Shadow Creek.

“Such an amazing, amazing golf course. It is brutal though,” Korda said. “It was so hard. It has tested every part of my game. I would say that it almost played like all the majors combined and tested our games this week.”

Win or lose, however, Korda says she in a good place both physically and mentally.

“There is no greater thrill for me than competing and being out here and seeing the girls and going head to head for a title,” Korda said. “There is no greater feeling and I have to say I just love the sport so much and I just love competing.”

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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