It was a hard-fought battle until the end. Though she started the day with a three-shot 54-hole lead, Nanna Koerstz Madsen fell in a two-hole playoff to 19-year-old Tour rookie Atthaya Thitikul, who carded the week’s low round on Sunday, an 8-under 64. Coming off her maiden win at the Honda LPGA Thailand, Koerstz Madsen said she was still proud of carrying that momentum into the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol.
“I played a good week and I'm happy with the game. I could have maybe have done a little better today, but it was what I could do,” said the Dane.
Koerstz Madsen started strong with a birdie on the first and fifth hole. She continued with a string of pars, including a crucial save on No. 10 after finding the water on her tee shot. Koerstz Madsen added her last birdie of the day on No. 17, but then made bogey on No. 18 after missing a five-footer to win outright. Thitikul, who had been waiting for the final result, and Koerstz Madsen then started the playoff with both players returning to No. 18. Koerstz Madsen’s chip from the rough left of the green helped keep the playoff going when both players parred the first extra hole.
“Well, I thought I had to make it actually, because it was a good chance for her; obviously it wasn't a gimme,” said Koerstz Madsen. “So, yeah, I had no pressure. I just tried to make the chip.”
The second playoff hole became the last when Koerstz Madsen hit her tee shot left and found herself standing on the cart path after deciding to forgo relief. Her next shot went right, hitting the water. Once finding the green, her final putt of the day lipped out, and though Koerstz Madsen ultimately couldn’t seal the deal, she said there’s still positives to think about heading into The Chevron Championship.
“If I dwell too much about what happened on 18 then golf is going to -- not play golf anymore. So I'm not going to think about it. Still a good week and I still had that win in Thailand. I'm sure there will be plenty of other opportunities,” said Koerstz Madsen. “I still got to be proud of myself this week, even though I did not get the win. I'm excited for next week. I'll take a day off tomorrow and then hopefully I'll play good next week.”