The ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open was decided in a six-player sudden death playoff. I had never seen a six-player playoff and wondered if it was a record. Sure enough, six players is the largest number of players in a LPGA playoff; but this is not the first time it has happened. According to the LPGA records, in 1999 at the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic there was a six-player playoff.
The Australian Open playoff was won by a teenage American, not Lexi Thompson (as most would assume) but by 18-year-old Jessica Korda. She won on the second hole of the playoff with a birdie. Korda is currently ranked #285 in the world and beat a number of stellar players. Here are their Rolex World rankings:
- Brittany Lincicome (USA) #9
- Stacy Lewis (USA) #10
- So Yeon Ryu (KOR) #25
- Hee Kyung Seo (KOR) #35
- Julieta Granada, (PRY) #121
It was interesting to watch because a lot of the press coverage about Korda was that her dad is a well-known tennis pro in Australia and won the Australia Open Tennis title in 1998. So even if Korda did not have the hype Lexi Thompson has had (Thompson has been called “the young American phenom”), she must have felt some additional pressure with the attention she was getting in the press.
On the other hand, maybe what Korda was feeling this week was great karma from her dad. As she said in her press conference “It (Melbourne, Australia) is a really special place for my family. For my first win, I honestly could not have thought of a better place.”