There was always going to be something historic about this week’s Aramco Team Series-New York event at Glen Oaks Club on Long Island given it was the first Ladies European Tour event ever to be played in the United States. But the finish on Saturday created its own novelty.
The tournament pitted four-player teams (three pros and one amateur) competing over three days. The event included several top American players including Nelly Korda, Jessica Korda, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson with the LPGA not holding an event this week.
Team Jessica Korda, rounded out by Germany’s Karolin Lampert, Sweden’s Lina Boqvist and amateur Alexandra O’Laughlin, led entering the final round and reached 41 under par by day’s end. But Team Sophia Popov, which included Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher, England’s Hayley Davis and amateur Cody Crowell, rallied late to match the score.
Emphasis on the word late. When storms passed through, causing a delay in the tournament, the team competition finished at sunset. The two teams then proceeded to compete in a playoff in the dark.
Tournament officials brought out floodlights for the par-3 17th hole, placing them on the tee and green. Korda and Popov represented their teams in the playoff. On the first hole, each could do no better than bogey.
“It was so hard to see out there, so I really didn’t know how hard to hit I,” Korda said. “I was just praying it was going to be somewhere up there.”
Korda hit the green the second time they played the hole under the lights and two-putted from 20 feet for a par that closed out the victory after Popov’s tee shot found a bunker.
England’s Charley Hull won the individual title with a final-round 65 and a 12-under 204 total, rallying past overnight leader Nelly Korda to claim her third career LET win by one shot.