Thu, 29 Jul 2021

Golf-weary Nelly Korda searching for right major week 'head space'

Field Level Media
23 Jun 2021, 08:40 GMT+10

Nelly Korda pulled off her second win of the LPGA Tour season on Sunday, surviving a challenge by playing partner Leona Maguire to win by a single stroke at the Meijer LPGA Classic. But there was no time to celebrate.

"I didn't get to," Korda said. "I had to get right in the mode of getting in (the) head space of, 'It's major week.'"

Korda, 22, enters this week's KPMG Women's PGA Championship, the LPGA's third major of the season, as one of the hottest players on tour. But she's still seeking her first major victory -- and searching for the right frame of mind to attack major events, too. Her best finish at the Women's PGA was a tie for third in 2019.

"To be honest, I try to approach every tournament the same," Korda said Tuesday at her pre-tournament press conference. "A lot of people get wrapped up in 'It's major week,' and they put so much pressure and emphasis on it being major week instead of just enjoying the week, and I'm still trying to figure that out.

"I missed the cut at the U.S. Open two years in a row now, and just trying to enjoy the moment and just to have fun and approach it like every other week, I think is a new mindset I'm going to try to rely on, I guess."

Korda felt tired during Tuesday's practice round -- "like I got hit by a bus on probably 14 today." She had a quick turnaround from last weekend's win in Grand Rapids, Mich., to make her way down to Atlanta Athletic Club for the major.

She might take some respite in the similarities between her position now and that of Jon Rahm a week ago. Korda is the No. 3-ranked woman in the world (and the highest-ranked American), a budding star whose first breakthrough at a major appears like a matter of when, not if.

In similar fashion, Rahm entered last week's U.S. Open ranked No. 3 in the world and captured his first major title Sunday.

Korda is one of the favorites in Atlanta. BetMGM lists her 1600, tied for second-shortest odds with South Korea's Jin Young Ko and only behind Korean star In Bee Park (1400).

--Field Level Media

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