Nelly Korda Profile
|Born||Jul 28, 1998|
|Birthplace||Bradenton, Florida, United States|
The American is the upcoming star in the women's game, who has already tasted Major and Olympic success.
Hailing from an extremely competitive sporting family, Nelly Korda was always destined to compete at the highest level whatever endeavour she chose and she is on track to claim the family bragging rights as the best of a very fine bunch.
Her parents Petr and Regina were both professional tennis players, with Petr winning the 1998 Australian Open.
Her elder sister Jessica is an accomplished performer on the LPGA, with multiple wins and appearances for Team USA, while younger brother Sebastian competes on the ATP.
Although her parents were from the Czech Republic, all three children were born in Florida and never thought of representing any nation other than America.
Korda was a fine amateur golfer and she progressed smoothly when hitting the pro ranks in 2016.
She became a regular winner on the LPGA, but had initial problems transferring that form into Major Championship contending efforts.
She also joined her sister on the American Solheim Cup team and they were paired together by captain Juli Inkster.
Korda started 2021 in fine form, winning early in the year and then going back-to-back with a second and third win in June.
The last of these was extra special - victory in the KPMG Championship was her first Major title and it also confirmed her rise to number one in the world rankings. She then added Olympic gold at the Tokyo Games.
Her 2022 campaign was seriously disrupted by a blood clot that saw her require surgery and miss three months of the early season, including the first Major of the year.
Korda first burst to prominence when making the cut at the 2013 US Women's Open, one month before her 15th birthday.
It was also two years before she became a member of the US Junior Solheim Cup team, a season when she also won the prestigious Harter Hall Invitational and was named a 2015 AJGA Rolex Junior All-American.
She kicked off her journey in the pro ranks on the second tier Symetra Tour in 2016 and won in that first season at the Sioux Falls Greatlife Challenge.
Her year-round consistency helped her graduate to the LPGA where she joined big sister Jessica and opened her rookie campaign with fifth place in her first outing at the Bahamas LPGA Classic.
Becoming a worldwide winner
Her second season at the top level got off to a sticky start, but she transformed her career with victory in Taiwan in October and rode the wave into early 2019, claiming the Australian Open.
In so doing she celebrated completing a 'Family Slam' because not only had father Petr won the tennis Australian Open, but Jessica has won the golf version in 2012, and Sebastian the 2018 Boys Australian Open.
In late 2019 she won again on foreign soil, at the Open de France, shortly before successfully defending her LPGA Taiwan Championship title.
She drew a blank for wins in 2020, but was perhaps keeping her powder dry for 2021 because she won the Gainsbridge LPGA in February and then added the Meijer Classic in mid-June.
In many ways, Korda was the victim of her own very early success.
Because, in one sense, she didn't land a Major top 10 until her fifth year of playing them, but that was because she was 14 when she started.
However, it was also true that she wasn't getting into contention at either the Women's Open, the Evian Championship or the US Women's Open.
Nor had she been in the mix at the ANA Inspiration. But she led that event by two at halfway in 2019 before being caught by Mirim Lee and losing the subsequent playoff in somewhat controversial fashion.
A backboard had been built on the island green of the 18th hole to replicate the stands that were not there because of Covid restrictions. Korda considered this a little gimmicky and Lee used the board as something akin to a baseball mitt.
She was well within her rights, and plenty of the field did the same, but it took Korda's length advantage out of her hands.
She finished third in the same event a few months later, but was never in-contention.
Major triumph and Olympic gold
She had contended when finishing third at the 2019 KPMG Championship and would use that result, plus her superb 2021 form, as motivation when approaching the tournament in late June.
She opened with a solid 70 before a brilliant 63 vaulted her into a solo halfway lead. Lizette Salas tied her after 54 holes, but the pair were five shots clear of the field: it was a head-to-head battle for a first Major win for both.
On the Sunday Korda prevailed, not least as a consequence of two majestic approach shots that set up simple eagle opportunities on two of the par-5s.
She had joined her father as a Major champion - and she was now the World No. 1.
Weeks later Korda headed to Tokyo for the Olympics and dominated the field after posting a second round of 62 which opened up a four shot lead.
She had a few wobbles over the final round, but emerged victorious and stood proudly at the top of the podium, completing an American golden double after Xander Schauffele won the week before.
Korda made her Solheim Cup debut at Gleneagles in 2019 and played superbly in a losing cause.
Se halved a fourball match with Brittany Altomare, defeated Caroline Hedwall in the singles, but kept the best for her alliance with Jessica.
They won they alternate shot games by the enormous margins of 6&4 and 6&5.
Father Petr reached number two in the world and claimed 10 ATP titles, mother Regina was a two-time winner on the WTA who broke the world's top 30, Sebastian has followed his dad into tennis, and Jessica is a multiple winner on the LPGA.
They live in Bradenton, Florida and regularly visit Prague in the Czech Republic.
Her combined winnings on the LPGA, LET and Symetra Tour are over $6million.
Nelly Korda News
- Nov 22, 2021