The Chevron Championship

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

The Woodlands, Texas, USA

The Club at Carlton Woods

Nelly Korda

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right, Nelly, welcome to The Chevron Championship. Great finish here last year, I remember. I am going to open it right up to questions so we can get you moving.

Q. Nelly, back in 1978 Nancy Lopez won five in a row. She was on the front page -- the cover of Sports Illustrated and the front page of the New York Times. Haven't had that kind of breakout coverage since then. Do you think we can get there, and are you the person to get us there?

NELLY KORDA: That's a great question. I think that it just depends on the opportunities that are brought to you. If you're playing good golf and you're competing well and people see how much love you have for the game or how much work you put in day in and day out, I think everything comes with results. If you don't have results you're not going to get opportunities. At the end of the day, everything is about results.

Q. Do you feel as though you have an extra obligation or anything to try to lift the women's game outside of our bubble and into the mainstream?

NELLY KORDA: Listen, I feel like for me, the way that I promote the game is just the way I am. I'm very true to myself. I'm never going to do something I'm not really comfortable with. Obviously I love seeing all the kids and I love promoting the game.

I mean, there is nothing more that I enjoy more. I'm always going to stay true to myself, and hopefully that way do I promote the game.

Q. Winning is obviously a lot of fun. You've been doing a lot of that recently. You look like you're having so much more fun on the golf course. What's been that key to kind of letting yourself go and letting yourself play loose just have fun out there?

NELLY KORDA: Honestly, having a really great team around me, having really great people, that really helps. I've always said that staying in my own little bubble really, really helps me. Not getting too distracted or lost in something that isn't really what I want to be lost in. There is always temptations when it comes to a lot.

So I have a really great team around me that keeps me really grounded, and they know me so well that I can say anything to them. Even through hard situations, they know what to tell me to make me bounce back.

Q. We saw you after the seven-week break. That obviously did wonders for you. Having a few days off ahead of this week and everything you've got going, how much does that help you refresh and mentally reset as you look to go for five in a row?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I think spending time with family, spending time with Jess, haven't seen her in a really long time, and getting to spend time with Greyson was so nice. Getting to recharge the batteries.

When it's just a week off you feel like you've just done your laundry and you're repacking it again. So it flies by fast trying to get rest, practicing, and working out.

Having my sister come in for those few days really, really helped.

Q. Two consecutive weeks of major golf in the round and obviously Scottie Scheffler came in with so much expectation on his shoulder and has been not quite as dominant as you, but of that ilk. Do you draw inspiration for what he did at Augusta last week?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I mean, gosh, I don't think anyone can ever say anything bad about Scottie. I love his morals, I love his attitude out there. I just love the way he goes about his business. He inspires so many around him, including myself.

So yeah, obviously, as he even said, he wants to win every tournament he tees it up in. That's every girl that's out here competing, too. I think that you just have to go about your business. You can get lost in the articles, lost in the expectations, but I think if you just stick to your true self, I feel like you can live in your own bubble and enjoy it a lot more.

Q. Are you aware that expectation could be a burden, or do you treat it as an inspiration?

NELLY KORDA: No, it's an inspiration. I'm hopefully inspiring the next generation and hopefully it promotes the game. Hopefully we continue to climb up.

Q. It just a final one from me. Golf is one of those -- like your dad's sport you can go on runs of winning tournaments back to back to back. In golf it's is a rare.


Q. How aware of that dynamic are you, and therefore how aware are you of what you're achieving right now?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, in 2021 I won't on a run, and then in 2022 and 2023 golf really humbled me. I think they're sports; there are ups and downs. Ever athlete goes through the rollercoaster, and that is what makes the sport so great. You mature and grow so much and learn more about yourself.

You never take these weeks for granted. You always try to appreciate and become very grateful for them. It makes just all the hard work so worth it.

But I think I've learned so much about myself even through the losses.

Q. Checking in regarding the off week. On social media you jokingly referred to your skin complexion as Casper the Ghost. Looks like you got some good beach time. How is your score tanning-wise in the off-week?

NELLY KORDA: I burnt myself pretty good. It's very easy to burn my skin when I never show it. I always have sleeves on. It was nice. I was out with my best friend Clara and my sister and Greyson. It was a nice week. Tried to live the Florida life for a few days: Beach and chillin'.

Q. They restored this golf course back to its somewhat original 1999 design. Has your game plan changed at all since your second place finish last year?

NELLY KORDA: So I've only seen the front nine and I know that they changed two tee boxes. There is definitely different grass on the greens. It's a lot bouncier.

So having to judge that is definitely going to be different compared I had to last year.

Last year it played soft because the weather wasn't great, there was a lot of rain. So definitely a little bit of an adjustment from last year to this year just because you can't play as aggressive it being so firm and bouncy on the greens.

Overall I've just seen the front nine once. I can't really say if my game plan is going to change. From what I saw yesterday, definitely can't be as aggressive as last year.

Q. Overall impressions of The Woodlands so far?

NELLY KORDA: I love it. Obviously it's bermuda; reminds me a bit of the home. I love playing on bermuda. I love the humidity, the weather. It's a fun track.

I don't know what the weather is supposed to be like, but if it gets windy out here it's going to be really tough.

Q. I remember in your 2021 run you talked about your dad having a boot camp for you.


Q. To hit the reset button. What advice has he given you in this unique stretch in your career?

NELLY KORDA: Just to enjoy every second of it. Careers go by really fast and there are so many highs and lows in a career. To just be grateful about it all and very humble.

Q. Did you find yourself reflecting during your time on the beach about what has transpired?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, a little. Honestly, when I go home I'm just so excited to see my family that like my attention is on them 100%. Just spending time with them and disconnecting away from what just happened also helps me a lot.

Q. It would natural to expend a ton of energy to go through those four events, these four wins. Where is your energy level coming into this week after getting back to your own bed?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, last week I was so tired. I don't think I've ever been that tired. I would wake up and I was ready to go back to bed but I couldn't. It's almost to the point where you just can't sleep; you're just overly tired.

Made sure to prioritize any rest. My parents are on top of me to not overdo it. I always want to practice more, do more to be better. So made sure to prioritize my rest and making sure to go to sleep early and sleeping a lot, too. That's the number one thing for recovery.

Overall this week I feel really good.

Q. You mentioned staying grounded by being around your team, them keeping you in the present moment. This is possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Rarely comes by on the LPGA. What is that challenge like to put that to the side and really try your best not to think about it?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I don't know. I think obviously I'm so grateful and happy to be in this position that I could pull off four wins in a row. I feel like in sports you're always looking ahead, what's next, instead of like reminiscing on what has happened.

So, again, I'm so grateful for my team that we all kind of like live in our own bubble that we take it a shot at a time.

Yeah, that's what I'm going to be thinking about. I think added pressure isn't always a good thing.

Q. Do you remember at what point in time in your career that focus on the present really clicked into place for you?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I would say -- I was actually talking -- before my first-ever LPGA win I was talking with Hollis Stacy on the green at Concession. I was out there putting, doing a drill, and she always comes up to me when she sees me out there. She was just -- I was talking to her about like obviously that I haven't won on the LPGA Tour.

She just said, when the time is right. So I just put that in my yardage book that week that I won in Taiwan at Swinging Skirts. I said, when the time is right it'll happen.

That made me very present and that made me think more of golf is a shot at a time, not to get too ahead of myself, and when the time is right it'll happen because I put in the work.

Q. Is that saying in your yardage book today?

NELLY KORDA: There are a couple in my yardage book, but I do remind myself of that a lot, yep.

Q. I wanted to know coming from your first major win, whether that being in middle school or high school, or even the harder individual, how has your game improved the most, whether that be physical or mental?

NELLY KORDA: I think overall everything has to improve when it comes to my body. Obviously over the past couple years I've had issues with injuries, so making sure that my body is good with all the travel.

And mentally I think the most I've learned myself is -- about myself -- is when I play in under-pressure situations. So being in contention and how to handle those situations. Because even though a lot of the people may not seem that I -- that I show it, I definitely feel all the emotions internally.

So knowing how to process those emotions and not have to come out negatively. I learned a lot about myself through those situations.

Q. Can you tell us what some of those sayings are in your yardage book?

NELLY KORDA: Well -- no. They're private. They were ones that Jamie Mulligan had me put in there. Yeah, I actually the first week I had it was in Bradenton, the yardage book. I look at those sayings -- there are four in there, and I look at those sayings almost every hole.

Q. What does history and your place in it, what does that mean to you in this game?

NELLY KORDA: I feel like that's a question that I haven't really thought about too much.

I'm so like in the present that like I don't let myself think about that too much. I feel like that just comes with a little bit more added pressure. Obviously like there is nothing better to me than seeing all the little kids come out and saying that I inspire them to pick up a golf club or I'm their favorite golfer.

There is no better feeling than that. Hopefully I do get to inspire the next generation with the love that I have for the game and hopefully they have it too.

But when it comes to the history, I feel like I'm so caught up in being present that I haven't thought about that too much.

Q. Along the same lines of reminiscing a little bit, having played on the Epson Tour in 2016, how impressed are you with the girls out there now and how ready they are to come out here and compete?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I'm so grateful for my time on the Epson Tour. Obviously back in the day it was Symetra. It shaped me to be the player I am today. I would recommend it to everyone. There is just -- it was a great experience for me. I was in between going to college for a year or playing on the Epson Tour for a year.

I'm so glad I took that route. I learned what it was like to play week in and week out and not seeing my coach after one tournament where.

(Video interruption. ) I think that really, really helped me to be the player I am today.

I know the year that I was out there I was out there with Ally, I was out there with Madelene. Like the scores doubled under par. I mean, the competition that year was so, so good. I know every year the competition out there is getting better and better.

It's great to see sponsors support the Epson Tour and raising the prize money, because those girls are good and it's a great way to pave their way on to the LPGA.

Q. We're about week removed from the Women's College basketball National Championship game where about 20 million people tuned in. With the run you're on and so many great players on the LPGA Tour, many American, many in their 20s, do you think your sport is poised to follow a similar trajectory in the future?

NELLY KORDA: Hopefully. I feel like we just need a stage. We need to be put on TV. I feel like when it's tape delay or anything like that that hurts our game. Women's sports just needs a stage. If we have a stage we can show up and perform and show people what we're all about.

Q. Kind of piggybacking on that question, your name came up in a press conference with Fred Ridley, the Augusta chairman, last week in relation to Caitlin Clark and what she did to bring popularity to women's basketball the last couple years. Do you personally feel any duty or burden to help the tour get more into the spotlight?

NELLY KORDA: No, never any burden when it comes to this. I just hope I show people how much I enjoy being out here week in and week out competing against all the girls, practicing, and hopefully that drives more attention to us.

Obviously with the run I've been on, maybe there are more eyes on me, but I always am very grateful for this because I know how fast something can be taken away from you.

So I hope that people see who I am, my true self and that inspires them, too.

Q. Curious if anyone else on the LPGA Tour, any players, have asked you what have you been doing different or what are some your keys to success? Anyone asked about your success or maybe how they could imitate what you're doing out there?

NELLY KORDA: No, no one. I have gotten a couple funny comments saying I should go home, but, no. No one has really asked me.

Q. Is that surprising?

NELLY KORDA: That I should go home or...

Q. No, that no one has asked you what you're doing well.

NELLY KORDA: No. Think that the girls out here, we've all learned that we have to do what's best for ourselves. It's very easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing. I feel like if you do get caught up in what everyone else is doing, you're making yourself a little bit more complicated paragraph maybe you're putting too many tools in the toolbox.

So I feel like a lot of the girls just kind of stick to what they're doing out here and vibe with it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
143474-2-1041 2024-04-16 20:52:00 GMT

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