Whoop factor, village life, Rio gold and home success: Women’s Olympic golf punter’s pointers

The Korda sisters, Inbee Park and Nasa Hataoka talk ahead of Wednesday’s first round in the quest for Olympic gold at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

It's a tough gig breaking new sporting ground in the Korda family.

In 2019 Nelly Korda won the Australian Open, a year after he brother won the boys title in tennis' Australian Open, seven years after her sister won the same tournament and 21 years after her dad won the tennis championship.

Last month Nelly won her first Major, but of course dad had got there first as well.

And qualification for this year's Olympics? Well, mum Regina did that back in 1988.

What Nelly and Jessica have achieved this week, however, is double Korda representation and they're making the most of it.

"It's awesome," Jessica said Monday ahead of Wednesday's first round. "I didn't know what to expect, but we walked around the Olympic village a couple of days ago and what an experience that was, just itself.

"Then watching the guys yesterday battle out for bronze and seeing just what it means, very cool.

"And any time we get to represent the United States and wear red, white and blue is just such an honour."

Little sister Nelly was in agreement and enjoying the village life.

"Even like the traditions of the pin swapping," she said. "I think that's really cool, I'm already kind of decked out. I've only been here two days and it's been a lot of fun. It's something that I'm always going to look back on and really cherish."

The pair will be hoping to emulate compatriot Xander Schauffele - who comes from sporting stock himself - although they will be hoping to clinch a medal in a slightly less stressful manner.

"Definitely nervous on 18 when he pushed his tee shot out to the right and had to lay up," Nelly said. "But what a clutch pitch shot into 18 and making that putt."

"Yeah my Whoop registered a lot of activity on the last hole," Jessica laughed. "Just so clutch coming down the stretch."

Let's take a look at what else they had to say, as well as defending Olympic champion Inbee Park and home hero Nasa Hataoka.

Jessica Korda on getting inside info from Justin Thomas

"I was grilling him when he first landed here. I was like, how is it, what's everything like, I need to know details. He's like, wait until you land here, it's going to hit you. And I was like, okay, I can't wait. And he's right, I mean the whole experience, I don't feel like we're really prepared what it was going to be like. He said, it just kind of hits you when you get here. He even texted me this morning and he goes, I'm dying to know what you think about the golf course. It's nice to be able to share this with someone that you grew up with. Just a cool experience."

Jessica won the first event of the LPGA season but has added just the two top five finishes in 12 starts since. She has two top five finishes in four starts in Japan.

Nelly has six top three finishes, including three wins, in 12 starts in 2021.

Inbee Park on winning in 2016

"It was by far the most pressure I've ever felt in my life. I don't know if I could do that again. So if I felt it this year, I don't think I would be able to play. It is definitely much more relaxing this year. 2016 was different because I was representing the country and I was going through the injury. It wasn't like a normal tournament. It was a once in a four-year opportunity and I didn't want to withdraw. I was really fighting so a lot of people got worried. My family, my staff, probably the whole of the Korea. It was really, really hard, very stressful. But maybe it gave me the power to overcome a lot stuff. Winning gold was amazing."

Park is a seven-time Major Championship winner, but hasn't added to that tally since she won gold in 2016. She does, however, continue to record a remarkable number of top 10 finishes.

She's made 35 of the in 64 Major Championship starts, seven in 13 starts this season, and 22 in 43 appearances in Japan.

Inbee Park on this week's course

"Watching on TV last week, I thought the course was probably playing short and very soft. I went out yesterday and it was actually a lot firmer and a lot longer than I thought. A lot tougher. I was surprised because we were teeing off on the first from the same tee box as the men. I had 200 yards to the pin. Some pins are going to be very, very tough to get to and the greens are going to get firm with this weather."

The only three players in the field this week who rank top 10 for Driving Distance and Green in Regulation? Lexi Thompson, Brooke Henderson and Jessica Korda.

Nasa Hataoka on being the home hope

"The Olympics has been a dream of mine ever since before turning professional. It's been a long wait, but finally here and I'm very excited. Even though there are no fans I really feel the energy of the country supporting behind the team. Having other sports on TV has helped me relax. In an ideal world I would love to go to the actual site and watch the games in person, but I haven't been able to."

Hataoka finished second in the US Women's Open in June and then won the Marathon Classic at the start of last month. She's a six-time winner from just 27 JLPGA starts.

READ MORE: WGC St Jude Invitational punter's pointers

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