Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in New Zealand, Lydio Ko spent her 17th birthday playing in the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, where she earned her first LPGA Tour championship since turning pro, and the third LPGA title in her young career.
The tournament took place at Lake Merced Golf Club, located near San Francisco. Despite a rain delay on the last day of the tournament, Ko still managed to put up a score of 69 strokes (-3 to par), and claimed the title with a winning score of 276 (-12 to par).
After the first three rounds, Ko still trailed American star Stacy Lewis by one stroke, but her performance in the last day dazzled. Although she had bogeys in hole 4, 7 and 10, she also scored five birdies in the first 17 holes. Lewis scored a birdie in the 18th hole, giving Ko tremendous pressure, but Ko still managed the decisive 6-feet putt for the birdie and took home the $270K winner’s share.
On February 2, 2015, Lydia Ko became the youngest player to be ranked No.1 in the world, at the age of 17, and she looked to defend her title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.The tournament was star-studded this year, with 19 of the top-20 ranked players all attending, making a repeat for Ko certainly a difficult task.
Ko started off well on the first say, scoring five under par and sat atop the table with 67 strokes, but after the third day, Ko fell to fourth place.On the last round, Ko showed her promise as the defending champion, scoring a two under par at 70 strokes, and forced extra hole with American Morgan Pressel, both with a total of 280 strokes.
On the first extra hole, both managed even pars at the 18th hole, and took the game to a second extra hole. Pressel once again put up even par, but Ko managed to overcome the pressure, scoring a five-feet putt for a birdie, and successfully defensing her title.
Despite not performing at her best on the last day, Ko still showcased her skills at the most crucial moment, and just like last year, took home the championship trophy on the week of her birthday, giving herself the best birthday gift.
Haru Nomura’s father is Japanese, her mother is South Korean, and she is registered as a Japanese citizen.On February, 2016, Nomura scored a 16 under par in four rounds at the Women’s Australian Open, defeating the then-No. 1-ranking Lydia Ko—who is also the winner of the first two Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic—by three strokes, en route to her first career LPGA championship.
Two months later, Nomura also participated in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic held at San Francisco, challenging the defending champion Ko. Nomura performed excellently in the first round, scoring 7 under par and sat atop the table. The wind grew stronger in the days after, affecting every player’s performance, but Nomura still displayed her ability under adversity, and lead the pack with 3 under after three rounds.
However, on the first nine holes of the last round, she scored four bogeys and had her lead trimmed to one stroke. Fortunately, Nomura did not panic in the last nine holes; facing the strong winds, she finished the round with 1 above par at 73 strokes. With 9 under par and a total of 279 strokes across the tournament, Nomura won the championship by 4 strokes, and took home her second title of the year. She also became the first Japanese player to win two LPGA championships in a year since Ai Miyazato did it back in 2012.
The tournament took place at Miramar Golf Country Club, located near Taipei, Taiwan. Despite a bad weather at the first day of the tournament, Ji still started off very well, scoring six under par and sat atop the table with 66 strokes, and kept the leading position from beginning to end.
After winning U.S. Women’s Open in 2009, Ji had to wait for the sweet taste of victory, she finished the last round with a flawless performance, 7 under par at 65 strokes. With 16 under par and a total of 271 strokes across the tournament, Ji won the championship by 6 strokes, and took home her second title in career, ending an eight-year winless drought.
Born in Florida, Nelly’s parents are both retied tennis players, her sister, Jessica Korda also plays on the LPGA Tour.
The promise Nelly Korda has shown since joining the LPGA in her rookie season was never in doubt. And in 2018, her second season on tour, she demonstrated nothing but consistency: 22 starts, 18 cuts made and seven top-10 finishes.
The tournament took place at TaShee Golf & Country Club, located in Taiwan. Nelly started off well on the first say, scoring five under par with 67 strokes. After the third day, Nelly shared the leading position with Taiwanese local hope, Wei-Ling Hsu. On the last round, Nelly scored one eagle and two birdies, with 13 under par and a total of 275 strokes across the tournament, Nelly took home first-ever title in her career.
With the victory, Nelly joins older sister Jessica, a five-time LPGA winner, as just the third siblings to each claim LPGA titles. The others are Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam, who becoming the first in 2000, and Thai siblings, Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn also accomplishing the feat this season.
Nelly Korda won her first LPGA championship trophy in 2018 Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA. Then she kept the momentum on to win the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in February which was her second win in 2019. After that, Nelly’s world rankings had been grown steadily, and even made her debut to the top 10 of Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings.
Coming back to Taiwan in 2019, defending champion Nelly Korda performed excellently in the third round. She scored 7 under par and sat atop the table, and started the final day with a three-stroke advantage over Minjee Lee and a four-shot lead over Caroline Masson.
In the last nine holes of the last round, Nelly missed two short putts within 5 feet to take three bogeys to card a disappointing 72. Lee and Masson, by contrast, closed with a 69 and 68 respectively to force a playoff.
Korda credited her caddie Jason for calming her down after her miscues, as she was able to pull herself together to birdie the 18th hole of Miramar Golf & Country Club twice -- the first time in regulation to force a playoff and the second time in the playoff hole to clinch the victory with a precise 5-hybrid followed by two putts.
Korda was the third player this season to successfully defend a 2018 title, and moved to an all-time career-best ranking of third place with the successful defense of her Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA presented by CTBC title.