MELBOURNE, Australia — Jessica Korda broke out her father’s trademark scissor-kick celebration Sunday when she won the Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne for her first LPGA Tour title.
She decided against the cart wheels that her father, Petr, did when he won the 1998 Australian Open tennis title. Maybe the 18-year-old American was still dizzy following a topsy-turvy final day of the tournament.
“It is a really special place for my family,” Korda said. “For my first win, I honestly could not have thought of a better place.”
She closed with 1-over 74 to finish at 3-under-par 289, then won a six-way playoff with a 25-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole in the first women’s professional event at Royal Melbourne.
Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lincicome, Julieta Granada, So Yeon Ryu and Hee Kyung Seo also were in the playoff that matched the largest in LPGA Tour history.
EUROPEAN TOUR: In Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Rafael Cabrera-Bello held off a strong field to capture the Dubai Desert Classic, shooting 4-under-par 68 to beat Lee Westwood and Stephen Gallacher by a stroke for his second European Tour victory.
Westwood and Gallacher could have forced a playoff in the wind, but both players missed birdie putts on the 18th.
Former Augusta State golfer Scott Jamieson (71) and U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy (71) were in a group four back.
CHAMPIONS TOUR: In Boca Raton, Fla., Corey Pavin made a 12-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to defeat Peter Senior and win the Allianz Championship for his first Champions Tour title at Broken Sound.
Both players shot final-round 71s to finish tied at 11-under 205. Senior forced the playoff with a birdie on the last hole of regulation, but his birdie try in the playoff stopped an inch short of the cup.
MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP: Ernie Els can plan on a trip to Arizona for the Match Play Championship – just barely.
Sunday was the end of the final week to qualify for the first World Golf Championship of the year, and the Match Play takes the top 64 players from the world ranking.
Pebble Beach winner Phil Mickelson is not playing that week, so Els gets the final spot at No. 65.
Cabrera-Bello moves into the top 60 and will play in the event that begins Feb. 23.