CME Group Tour Championship

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburon Golf Club

Nelly Korda

Flash Interview

Q. Nelly, that 66 today, just two back. How would you assess your start to the week here so far?

NELLY KORDA: It was pretty good. I hit majority of the greens and I didn't really make any mistakes. Two loose shots that I kind of had too much curve on them and two three-putts.

But I definitely made a good bit of my putts out there as well.

Q. Coming off the win last week you said it would be a challenge to keep the mental and physical energy up. How do you think you handled that today?

NELLY KORDA: I kept it pretty light out there. Jason and I had fun, and that was our goal going into today. Still three more days, a lot of golf, so hopefully I can keep that up, keep the positives going.

Q. Speaking of fun, the much-anticipated grouping with you and Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda -- you are Nelly Korda.


Q. And Lydia Ko. What was the atmosphere like out there with you guys today?

NELLY KORDA: It was good. I kind of saw that video of Lyd saying she was third wheeling, but I felt like I was third wheeling because they were speaking Korean. I was like, doo, doo, doo. Jason, you want to talk to me?

It was fun. I like playing with them and they played well, so it was nice.

Q. What's strategy now as you have the next three days?

NELLY KORDA: Just kind of stay aggressive and stick to my game plan, and making sure that I'm physically well going into the next few days.

Q. (Recording played for Nelly. )


Q. You just saw a video...

NELLY KORDA: Can I send a video back?

Q. Oh, yeah, we'll definitely take a video. Saw a video from one of our St. Jude patients, a big partnership with CME Group and St. Jude. What does that mean to you to be able to support kids like that and help with their care when dealing with cancer?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I mean, I don't know what they're going through. Obviously they're going through something that is extremely tough.

Any time you can put a smile on their face or distract them from what they're going through feels really nice.

Q. To the golf. You shot 6-under 66 today. Coming off your Fresh Princess of Belleair title. We'll keep beating that one to death. What were some of your highlights out there today?

NELLY KORDA: I think I just struck it really well. I gave myself some good looks probably inside 10 feet. Two oopsies with two three-putts, but I think I hit a majority of the greens and gave myself some really good looks.

Q. It looked look you didn't miss a shot. Was that inaccurate?

NELLY KORDA: I think I had just two kind of missed shots where I was a little too aggressive. When I'm a little aggressive they kind of have a little bit more shape on them. So I think in all, I hit it pretty good.

Hopefully I can carry it into the next three days.

Q. How do you feel?

NELLY KORDA: I feel pretty good. I was definitely tired on Tuesday. Took a nap. That felt really great.

But, yeah, I'm just trying to focus really on my body and being mentally and physically prepared for the next couple days.

I thought the weather was going to be much worse today. I think we got really lucky with the weather, so I was kind of mentally prepping for it to be a tough day.

Q. This is a week that in addition to trying to win a golf tournament, there is a lot of other stuff going on this week.


Q. How do you maintain that level of focus?

NELLY KORDA: You know, it's nice to kind of get distracted with family time, going out to dinner every night and it's a good kind of distraction. Keeping it within the circle I think.

Q. This is a broader question. Are you comfortable being the face of women's golf now?

NELLY KORDA: That's a good question. I don't know how I feel about it. I mean, it's a huge honor, something I've strived for for a really long time.

It feels great. I think any time I can kind of hopefully push the game of golf in a positive direction and grow it, I think it feels amazing.

I try not to think about it too much in a sense because I feel like when you start thinking about it a lot you feel a lot more pressure. Kind of takes the fun out of it.

I always say I like to be a kid out there, have fun, smile, and keep it pretty easygoing, even though maybe my facial expressions don't show it too much.

But, yeah, I feel like it's a huge honor, but I try not the think about it too much.

Q. Who do you think of when you think of the face of the LPGA just throughout your life?

NELLY KORDA: I think growing up Jess turned pro in '11, so I would say Lorena and Inbee. And then one of the big, big names was Michelle Wie and Lexi Thompson as well. I don't think there is just one.

I think there is a couple. We don't have a Tiger Woods or Rory or something.

Q. Do you have trouble at all viewing yourself on that pedestal like a Lorena, or no?

NELLY KORDA: No. I enjoy it. I kind of -- I like the challenges. You're going to be talked about even if you're on top and talked about if you're not playing well, so I just try to cancel that out and play golf.

Q. Yeah. And then lastly, the winner gets $1.5 million. What would you buy with that?

NELLY KORDA: Some nice Christmas presents for my parents and family. I don't know honestly. I would have to think about it.

Q. What's the best Christmas present you've ever given to your parents?

NELLY KORDA: I don't know. There has definitely been some designer bags. It's all about the designers.

I don't know.

Q. Who's the best designer?

NELLY KORDA: I don't. I typically, I mean, you can't go wrong with Chanel. Louis is nice because the leather lasts for a really long time.

There is a couple good ones, yeah.

Q. Okay. Thank you. Steve alluded to do this earlier, did it feel any different on the first tee teeing up alongside Jin Young, who you are battling that Player of the Year with and all these other awards concluding at the end the week?

NELLY KORDA: No, not really because, I mean, I'm sure you guys are tired of hearing it, but I honestly don't think about it. When I say it, I honestly try not to think about it.

I don't really look at the rankings like that. If you want to know my honest opinion, I look at the Money List and that's all I look at.

And then obviously world rankings. But, I mean, we're here. Everyone has a chance to win 1.5. Everyone is playing good golf. You need everything to be on your side to win, so I just tee it up and I just try to take it one shot at a time.

As boring as it sounds, I like that game plan.

Q. You mentioned trying to bring more fans in on the 9th. You were in the right side. Had to move the stake. Everyone was around you. What were you thinking about with that many people close by watching that shot?

NELLY KORDA: I was just zoned in. Honestly, I live in a bubble when I'm out there. I don't hear bags drop, anything. I'm just like in my own bubble.

So I don't have a hard time concentrating and zoning in. I was just zoned in.

Q. If I could get just a couple really boring golf questions out of the way. Curious what clubs you hit on 16 and 17 into the par-5?

NELLY KORDA: Par-5 I hit a 5-hybrid; 16 I hit a 7-iron, a little held-off 7-iron.

Q. You talk about getting a break with the weather. I know it's just Thursday and none of this stuff is relevant. Do you have any sense on how the course is playing so that when you do see your first leaderboard you just kind of glance at it you're not surprised by the scores?

NELLY KORDA: I was pretty surprised seeing a lot of tee boxes up. I would love to know how far we were playing it today because I think they were anticipating a lot of rain, all of us were.

I think we kind of swerved it. We were really lucky. But it was playing pretty short, and I think a lot of the girls could have short clubs in and be more aggressive on these greens.

Q. A lot of wedges for you today?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, yeah. I started kind of hitting it a little closer on the back nine though. I think the front nine, the first couple holes are pretty tough, even if they were moved up.

Q. And then just still on golf, but a couple things you said made me think. Why do you look at the Money List? Is that a dumb question?

NELLY KORDA: I don't know. Yeah, I don't know why. I think before I think we based a lot off of the Money List, like when I was in my rookie year.

So I just -- that's kind of how I take it. I don't know. There is just no reason to it.

Q. So you look at world rankings, money, Nelly goes to money?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah. Well, I mean, at the end of the day, right, CME, no matter if you're No. 1, right, there is no -- I mean, when you're on the PGA TOUR you start at what, 10-under or something?

Q. Right.

NELLY KORDA: On the LPGA everyone has a chance to win 1.5 if they get into this event.

Q. Winner take all.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, so the CME points going into this event, if you qualified, great. That's all that matters.

Q. Do you have any opinion one way or the other to see it change? And I'm not trying to suggest anything ridiculously complicated, but just having a purpose for a season-long race?

NELLY KORDA: I think it would be cool to have kind of playoff I would think be really interesting and exciting. I think it would be cool if they kind of looked into it.

Q. And lastly, this face of golf thing, what is your definition of it? What exactly is it?

NELLY KORDA: What do you mean, face of golf? What does that mean to me?

Q. Yeah. What would be your definition of it. I'm not sure I know what it means. I kind of do, but not really.

NELLY KORDA: I mean, I don't know. Maybe ask me next year when I've thought about it a little bit more. I'm pretty new to all this.

Q. Someone who gets all the attention, but it's performance driven, too, isn't it? You can't get attention...

NELLY KORDA: If you're playing bad everyone is going to talk about and if you're playing good everyone is going to talk to you. It's kind of like that. Comes with its pros and cons.

Q. Just don't shoot 70 every week.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, pretty much. I feel like a lot of people want to put a lot of pressure on you. It comes with its pros and cons. I feel like if you keep your head down and you kind of do your work, stick to the game plan and stay focused and humble, I think kind of everything turns out good.

Q. Have you ever read a story about yourself?

NELLY KORDA: I have, yes. I have. I try not to, but it's Twitter. I just see that I'm mentioned. Okay, should I click, should I not click. Occasionally I do.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
114881-1-1041 2021-11-18 20:15:00 GMT

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