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Solheim bump continues as N. Korda successfully defends Swinging Skirts title

Nelly Korda kept the Solheim Cup bounce going Sunday in Taiwan.

Korda’s birdie on the first playoff hole helped her win the Swinging Skirts LPGA at Miramar Golf Country Club in New Taipei City.

“To win on the LPGA tour is so hard nowadays, because so many girls are so good,” Korda said. “When you get a chance to win and you put yourself into contention, you know you’re doing so much right.”

That’s four worldwide American victories in the seven weeks since the epic Solheim Cup in Scotland, where Europe defeated the U.S. in one of the most exciting finishes in international team event history.

Korda successfully defended her 2018 title in Taiwan. Notably, she went 3-0-1 in the Solheim Cup and then went out the week after and won the Ladies European Tour’s Lacoste Ladies French Open.

That’s four worldwide titles in 53 weeks for Korda.

“She’s 21 years old,” said Jessica Korda, who followed her younger sister from the gallery at day’s end. “She’ll be out here for a lot of years, hopefully, and we’ve got a lot more of this coming.”

Jessica, 26, who has five career LPGA titles, also went 3-0-1 at the Solheim Cup.

Full-field scores from the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship

The Americans had won just two individual stroke-play events this year going into Scotland, but they’ve now won three of the last four LPGA events staged.

Notably, Korda won Sunday in a three-way playoff that included Germany’s Caroline Masson, who was on that victorious Euro team at Gleneagles. The playoff also included Australia’s Minjee Lee.

“It’s all my caddie,” Nelly said of her ability to hold on after losing her lead with a shaky back nine in regulation. “He gave me a great pep talk going from 17 to 18, and he kind of just told me to give it all I’ve got and to play from the heart, as well.

“My sister said that, too. Without them, I wouldn’t be on this stage today because they really made sure I was level-headed.”

Jason McDede, Nelly’s caddie, was part of a dramatic subplot. He is Masson’s fiancé. They were all together through the entire final round and playoff, with McDede helping Korda win.

“At the end of the day, he is on my team and I am the one signing his paycheck,” Nelly good-naturedly cracked. “Caroline is a great person, and she played amazing golf today. You know, it was kind of difficult for him because I guess he can be happy . . . but I wouldn’t be where I am without Jason. He made sure that he kept me in the game.”