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American Jessica Korda wins Honda LPGA in Thailand

© AFP | Korda sank four birdies on the back nine including a 25-footer on the 17th hole

CHONBURI (THAILAND) (AFP) - 

American Jessica Korda fended off challengers to emerge victorious in the Honda LPGA tournament on Sunday with a strong performance in the final push that helped her hold onto her lead.

After a somewhat uneven start with two birdies and a bogey, Korda sank four birdies on the back nine including a 25-footer on the 17th hole to finish with a five-under-par 67.

Korda left the 72 holes at the Siam Country Club in Thailand's Chonburi province at 25-under, a new tournament record and also her fifth LPGA tour victory.

"I can't believe it, today was such a blur, I was just trying to make birdies. I tried to relax, but I was nervous," Korda told LPGA.com. "This was my first event, my rookie year. I played really, really well this week."

The 24-year-old, who is making her season debut after jaw surgery, pushed ahead of a four-way tie on the opening day of the $1.6 million purse tournament to card a 62 on day two.

During the third round she made five birdies on the back nine to make up for an early bogey and entered the final day with a four-stroke lead.

Korda crushed the hopes of local favourites the Jutanugarn sisters, though Moriya Jutanugarn managed to finish tied second with American player Lexi Thompson at 21-under.

Moriya was within a few strokes of Korda but a bogey on the 12th hole kept her just far enough out of the top.

Korda's own sister Nelly finished in a tie for 14th.

Thompson was able to climb back up the leaderboard with a stunning eight birdies on the final day of play.

Australia's Minjee Lee took third place with an 18-under for the course.

© 2018 AFP