Making History: Korda Takes
The Sally In Dramatic Fashion
ORMOND BEACH, FLA. | Jessica Korda couldn’t
remember exactly when her last win was before
Saturday’s South Atlantic Amateur triumph.
With the way she dismantled the field, set a
course record and rewrote the “Sally” record book,
the 16-year-old from Bradenton, Fla. will surely recall her incredible 13-under-par victory at Oceanside Country Club years from now.
“I haven’t won anything individually in quite
some time,” said Korda, who, for the record, won
the Mission Inn Challenge in Howey-in-the-Hills
on April 12, 2009. “I’ve been second place or in a
playoff, or top 10, so it feels really good.”
Korda shot a career-low 10-under-par 62 – a new
course and Sally record – in the third round and used
a 3-under-par 69 to finish at 275, smashing the tourna-
ment record of 283 set last year by Alexis Thompson.
“I like breaking records – it’s fun,” Korda said with a
smile. “I broke my (personal) record, too. It was 67.”
Korda was just one week removed from helping
the United States win the Copa de las Americas
mixed-team amateur event in Buenos Aires, Argen-
tina, on Jan. 9. She wore some team attire and used
her golf bag from that tournament during the Sally.
Runner-up Candace Schepperle, a senior at
Auburn, also topped the previous Sally tournament
record with a 9-under-par 279 to finish four shots
behind Korda. Thompson was third with a 4-under-
par 284 and witnessed all of Korda’s rounds as the
2009 U.S. Junior Solheim Cup teammates played in
the same group all four rounds.
“She played amazing,” said Thompson, a 14-year-
old from Coral Springs, Fla. “I didn’t think 13-under
was possible. ”
Korda had a three-shot lead going into the
final round Saturday but saw it shrink to one shot
through seven holes after Schepperle’s birdie on
the par- 5 7th hole. But there was a two-shot swing
on No. 8 when Korda hit a 5-iron to eight feet,
made the birdie putt and Schepperle bogeyed.
Candace Schepperle had every reason to be
proud of her second-place finish at the South
Atlantic Amateur Saturday. Her 9-under-par 279
total eclipsed the previous tournament record by
four shots and the finish strengthened her bid to
make the 2010 U.S. Curtis Cup team. But Schep-
perle isn’t taking anything for granted, and appar-
ently hasn’t forgotten when she was bypassed in
selections two years ago. “If they don’t pick me
this year, then they’re missing a good player.”
FERTILIZING THE GREEN
If there was any chance that Korda was going to
tighten up on the 18th green as she went for a birdie
to give her a new course and Sally record, something
happened that made the players and caddies in the
Korda had hit her ball on the green and a blue
FATHER KNOWS BEST
heron was showing curiosity about it. Then Alexis
Thompson hit her approach shot and the ball nearly
hit the large bird.
“We came up (to the green) and there’s bird poop
everywhere,” Korda said with a laugh. “We were
like, ‘Look, Lexi.’ We couldn’t stop laughing.”
Sally champion Jessica Korda doesn’t know
how her father knows so much about golf. After
all, Petr Korda was a world-class tennis player and
will always be remembered for winning the 1998
But while caddying for his daughter, Petr Korda
MAYBE, MAYBE NOT
gave sound advice, especially with club selection at a
windy Oceanside Country Club in Ormond Beach, Fla.
“My dad helped me out with so many shots here.
I don’t know how he knows, but he knows exactly
what type of shots you should hit into these greens,
especially when it’s into the wind,” Jessica said.
Alexis Thompson shot a 284 total, one shot
more than her 13-stroke victory at the 2009 Sally.
Following last year’s tournament, the teen sensa-
tion quickly committed to returning to defend her
title. However, after her third-place finish Saturday,
Thompson said she’d like to come back, but she’s
not making out the schedule.
“It depends on him,” Thompson said with a smile
as she pointed to her dad, Scott. “He’s the one who
makes out the schedule.”