First equality, then respect: Nelly Korda believes new-mixed team event is ‘perfect’ next step to grow women’s golf


When Nelly Korda confronted off towards two of the PGA Tour’s most interesting in December, she acquired rave opinions.

“It’s a testomony to those different women that anybody may even sniff beating her as a result of that was wildly spectacular,” Max Homa marveled to reporters after he and Kevin Kisner confronted Korda and Denny McCarthy on the QBE Shootout, a team-based unofficial cash occasion on the PGA Tour.

Kisner, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, was equally in awe of the ladies’s world No. 2.

“I feel I referred to as her the Tiger Woods of the LPGA Tour at one level,” Kisner added. “I requested her on the market if she wins each match. She stated ‘No.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t imagine you.’”

When requested in January concerning the reward, Korda had one takeaway.

“That they need to watch extra girls’s golf,” Korda, laughing, informed reporters.

“They had been very form with their phrases in the direction of me, however I feel in the event that they got here out right here and watched all the women compete they’d be equally impressed.”

In December, the QBE Shootout shall be changed by The Grant Thornton Invitational, held on the identical Tiburón Golf Membership in Naples. It’s going to see 32 gamers – 16 from the LPGA Tour and 16 from the PGA Tour – compete in a mixed-team occasion for a $4 million prize purse.

Not since 1999, when Laura Davies and John Daly paired to clinch the final JCPenney Basic, have the 2 excursions co-hosted an annual mixed-team competitors. Korda couldn’t be extra excited.

“It’s one thing so completely different and so distinctive, I’m so grateful to be part of it,” she stated.

Nelly Korda’s first main title is a household affair

A part of Korda’s enthusiasm stems from her perception that the occasion is the subsequent step within the progress of the ladies’s recreation – although the 24-year-old insists it’s a marathon, not a dash.

“Rising step-by-step, little by little, and studying from errors, I feel the tip end result will make our basis approach stronger than instantly rising super-fast,” Korda stated.

“From the place we had been 10 years in the past to what we are actually, it’s superb to see how a lot we’ve got grown and the respect that we’re getting.

“You’ll be able to have equality and you should still not have the respect from individuals. And I feel when you achieve the respect, every thing type of meshes into one and it turns into approach higher than the equality.”

Each Korda and her sister Jessica, the world No. 25, are set to staff up with huge names within the males’s recreation, pairing with Tony Finau and Rickie Fowler respectively. With 5 PGA Tour wins apiece, they’re considered two of essentially the most proficient golfers but to win a significant.

In Finau, Korda will play alongside one of many main lights of Netflix’s “Full Swing,” a fly-on-the-wall present documenting the 2022 PGA Tour season. Episode six sees the American appeal as a golfer working exhausting to stability his profession with household commitments.

“He’s such a pleasant man, he’s so candy,” Korda stated.

“I’m positive everybody is aware of that now with the Netflix documentary that’s come out concerning the PGA Tour and I’ve heard that his episode’s a extremely huge hit.

“I’m simply excited to get to know him extra and I feel total he’s such a strong participant. I’m actually excited to compete alongside him.”

However one staff occasion is assured to trump all others for Korda this season. In September, all eyes shall be on Finca Cortesin Golf Membership in Andalucía, Spain, for the Solheim Cup.

Strain shall be on the US Workforce to forestall a European three-peat, following defeat at Gleneagles, Scotland in 2019 and a house loss at Inverness Membership, Ohio in 2021.

On the dropping facet on each events, Korda is out to style Solheim Cup victory for the primary time. With herself, her sister, Lexi Thompson, Danielle Kang, Lilia Vu and Jennifer Kupcho all having fun with sturdy seasons, US Workforce captain Stacy Lewis is spoilt for selection to choose her 12-player roster.

“On the finish of the day golf is so person that it’s good to have teammates and never simply play for your self, however play for them, play to your captain, play to your nation,” she stated.

“It simply brings in a brand new stage of respect and it’s a lot enjoyable. Each single time I’ve the chance to do this, I’m stuffed with pleasure.”

Ranked second in girls’s golf, behind New Zealand’s Lydia Ko, Korda loved a run of electrical performances both facet of the brand new yr. Three consecutive top-six finishes to begin 2023 continued a rousing finish to 2022, which Korda closed with three top-10’s – together with victory on the Pelican Girls’s Championship in November.

After saying in March 2022 that she wouldn’t be competing on the Chevron Championship as a result of a blood clot in her arm, she returned to motion on the US Girls’s Open in Might, simply her fourth begin of the season.

The protection of her title on the Pelican Girls’s Championship – her first LPGA Tour victory of the season and the eighth of her profession – marked a cathartic second for Korda, who was overcome with emotion after her win.

“2022 was a troublesome yr at the start … to get the win on the finish was tremendous particular to me,” Korda stated.

“Yearly, you’re striving to be your greatest self – on the golf course, as a participant, as an individual.

“If I can have enjoyable and keep wholesome, then I do know that I can carry out my greatest.”