Three weeks away for a professional golfer can feel like a lifetime, but for Nelly Korda, the break was very welcome. The Rolex # 1 leaderboard has a minor shoulder injury – the by-product of the 23-year-old’s non-stop travel and competition schedule – and was grateful to off the sticks for a relaxing, refreshing respite.
“It’s been so many weeks, so much travel, so much luggage that I had to leave the carousel, which (my shoulder) was just overworked and I had to rest,” said Korda. “My body was actually pretty decent. In my mind, I was definitely very tired just because I went to big events and you just go through so much pressure that you just get a little tired. And traveling, different time zones, is easy to manage. I definitely needed this break, had to sleep in a little longer, which felt really good. “
But the big news of the day – the upcoming rebranding of ANA Inspiration, the first and most famous of the five majors on the LPGA Tour – also crossed Korda’s mind. She acknowledges that the newly named Chevron Championship, with $ 5 million in prize money and expanded TV coverage, will be an “amazing” source of advancement in women’s football. But she also complained about the move from the desert mainly because of her personal connection to her host family.
“I’m definitely excited, but of course also disappointed. I think it’s kind of 50/50 just because I love Palm Springs. I love the host family I live with. They are like my second parents, ”she said. “I just love the tradition of jumping into Poppie’s Pond and seeing all the winners when you go to the 18th green. There’s just so much tradition there. So it’s a little sad, but we are also very grateful to Chevron that he doubled his wallet and also supported us. “
With the Cognizant Founders Cup, Korda turned her gaze to the Mountain Ridge Country Club, a new stop for the tournament on a course players are unfamiliar with. The major-style setup bodes well for the KPMG PGA champion and the learning curve won’t be as steep as Korda is one of the longer hitters in the game. But new venues always present new challenges, and after nearly an inch of rain, the soft conditions will toughen an already tricky stretch, something a refreshed Korda feels ready for.
“The greens are really big and very undulating,” said Korda. “You have to hit it in the right sections on the green. It is played for a long time. I know it has been raining a lot lately so it’s soft too. Because of the hard greens and the length, it plays like a major. I like that it gives the longer players an edge. But you never know You still need to get some really good shots. You still have to do the putts. So at the end of the day it is everyone’s business if they do all of this. You will definitely need more patience. I haven’t played for three weeks either, so playing tournament golf again and being under pressure is something different. I’m just telling myself that it’s okay to make mistakes. Everyone will make mistakes. There is always another hole, another punch that you can use. And to do it one shot at a time. As boring as it sounds, it’s usually the best way to do it. “