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Nelly Korda a major winner and face of American women’s golf

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The timing couldn’t have been higher in so some ways for Nelly Korda, the brand new face of American ladies in golf and No. 1 on the planet.

As she stood on the primary tee at Atlanta Athletic Cub, tied for the lead within the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship with a shot at profitable her first major, older sister Jessica had simply completed the entrance 9 and made a detour on the best way to No. 10.

The sisters, separated by about 5 years, shared a hug.

The subsequent embrace was much more significant, some 4 1/2 hours afterward the 18th inexperienced after 22-year-old Nelly closed out a three-shot victory that made her the primary American in seven years to achieve the highest of the ladies’s world rating.

“She has a heart of gold,” Nelly stated. “She‘s the most selfless person out there. She‘s five years older, so she has shown me the ropes of the LPGA, the ropes of professional golf, and I’ve been super lucky to have been shown that because a lot of people don’t get that opportunity.”

Competition is an element of the household DNA.

Their father is Czech-born Petr Korda, the Australian Open champion in 1992 who reached as excessive as No. 2 on the planet in males’s tennis. The youngest little one, 20-year-old Sebastian, reached the fourth spherical of the French Open final 12 months earlier than shedding to Rafael Nadal. He now could be No. 50 within the males’s tennis rankings and taking part in Wimbledon this week.

The women selected golf, and the LPGA is best for it.

Jessica was runner-up at Q-school at age 17, received her first LPGA Tour occasion at Royal Melbourne at 18, performed in her first Solheim Cup two years later and reached as excessive as No. 8 on the planet. She began this 12 months by profitable the season opener for the sixth title of her profession, and little sister took it from there.

Nelly had little proof to counsel this stretch was coming, particularly after the USGA paired the sisters collectively at Olympic Club for the U.S. Women’s Open and she missed the minimize.

Nelly went house to Florida to spend a week together with her father in what she described as “boot camp,” which actually was a probability to reset.

She returned to sho-ot 62 within the Meijer LPGA Classic and win by 4 photographs, and then she carried that momentum to Atlanta Athletic Club for a second straight victory, giving her six LPGA Tour titles, identical to huge sister.

Korda shot 63 within the second spherical to tie the Women’s PGA file, and match the low rating for a major on the Atlanta membership that had hosted a U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and three PGA Championships. And there was merely no stopping her, laborious as Lizette Salas tried.

The Korda sisters stand about 5-foot-11 with a swing each elegant and athletic, and they pack loads of energy. Nelly was at a supreme benefit on the Highlands course, the place she may attain all of the par 5s in two whereas Salas couldn’t get to any of them. Salas was typically hitting hybrids to the inexperienced whereas Korda was hitting brief irons.

But there was a lot extra to her recreation. Korda went 49 consecutive holes with out a bogey, a streak that ended when she had a five-shot lead with 4 holes to play and hit into the water on the par-3 fifteenth, a gap that gave her matches all week.

By then, it actually solely affected the rating.

Their father was already in England with their brother, although Nelly took time for a video name, and he had a message for her: “You’re welcome for the boot camp,” Nelly stated with a chortle.

There isn’t any sibling rivalry, solely help.

They can be teammates in three weeks in Michigan on the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, a group occasion. “Team Jelly,” is what the youthful sister known as it.

More vital, they are going to be teammates once more in Tokyo. Nelly is the top-seeded participant for the Olympics, and Jessica nailed down the fourth spot for the American group at No. 13 on the planet. They almost definitely can be teammates in September in Ohio for the Solheim Cup.

On her personal, Nelly can be seen because the participant to hold the American flag on the LPGA Tour as a major champion and No. 1 on the planet.

She is the youngest American to win a major since Lexi Thompson was 19 when she received at Mission Hills in California in 2014. That stays the one major for Thompson, who this month misplaced a five-shot lead on the ultimate day of the U.S. Open.

Korda changed Jin Young Ko, who had been No. 1 for the final 100 weeks. The prime gamers in ladies’s golf because the final American at No. 1 – Stacy Lewis in 2014 at age 29 – have been from South Korea, Thailand or China, together with Korean-born Lydia Ko of New Zealand.

Korda is a shot-by-shot thinker, boring however efficient, setting objectives and staying within the current. Her victory nonetheless recent, she wasn’t prepared to consider what she needs to attain subsequent. For now, she is a major champion and No. 1 on the planet.

“That has a lovely ring to it, not going to lie,” she stated with a smile.

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