CME Group Tour Championship

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Naples, Florida, USA

Tiburon Golf Club

Nelly Korda

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Inside the CME Group Tour Championship Media Center and Virtual Media Center. I'm pleased to be joined by Ms. Nellie Korda. Nelly, welcome back to Naples. Coming off of your win last week at the Pelican Women's Championship, you've had a little bit of time to reflect. What's the last couple of days been like knowing what you were able to do last week?

NELLY KORDA: I got here Monday, played.

Yesterday I practiced. Today I played 18. Not too much time to soak in.

I feel like when it comes to, like, golf, you're constantly kind of looking at what's ahead of you. So after, yeah, a tough year, it was nice to get a win last week and got to celebrate by doing laundry and sleeping in my own bed.

THE MODERATOR: I was going to say, were you able to celebrate at all? We saw the champagne shower, but no actual celebration?

NELLY KORDA: Actually I did laundry. Megan Khang stayed at my place because I live in Sarasota, and it's kind of a halfway point between the two. We watched a horror movie and fell asleep. Yeah, wild night (laughing).

THE MODERATOR: Sounds great. Going into this week I know, obviously, this course like last week a little bit affected by some of the tropical storm and the rain. What have you seen out there after playing your holes?

NELLY KORDA: Honestly, kind of crazy. It's looked the best I've ever seen it, especially on the greens. They're really lush and really nice. Maybe a little slower compared to other years.

Definitely around the greens it's a lot greener, but for sure softer. A lot grainier just because of that, so I think it's going to be a little bit harder for maybe just kind of getting some good solid contact around the greens if you do miss it. But other than that, I was pretty impressed how the golf course looks.

THE MODERATOR: Just taking a look, we are here at the season finale. It's been, like you've said before, a very different year than most on tour. When you assess the way you were able to come back to get to this kind of week, how do you assess with everything that's gone on your year on tour?

NELLY KORDA: I'm pretty happy with it. I was actually talking to my caddie Jason, and even with the lows of the year, I lost in a playoff, I finished second in Canada, I won in Spain, and then I won in Tampa. So honestly, I've had, I think, seven top tens as well.

So overall I've played some solid golf this year, and I'm definitely happy with the way my game has been. Obviously there have been times that I overdid it, traveled for too long, wasn't home and didn't rest just because I tried to play more events and get that time back that I missed. But overall if I really look at it, I've been pretty pleased with my year.

THE MODERATOR: Nothing like a little interruption today in your pro-am group by Keith Urban. How was that?

NELLY KORDA: That was amazing. I saw him on the first hole. I didn't even recognize him because he had a cap on, but he was super nice. Yeah, I got to take a photo with him.

THE MODERATOR: Have you met him before?

NELLY KORDA: No, first time.

THE MODERATOR: And I think he walked up to you?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I was kind of putting around, but yeah, he was super nice.

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it up.

Q. Do you listen to country music, out of curiosity?

NELLY KORDA: I feel like my music taste is all over the place. I do dabble in a little bit of country occasionally. It just depends on my mood.

Q. I think you said your coach was going to be here this week.

NELLY KORDA: Jamie Mulligan.

Q. What do you work on with Jamie after a win?

NELLY KORDA: I played nine. He came in late Monday night, so I didn't see him, and yesterday I just practiced.

Honestly, not much. It was just back to my basics, making sure that I'm not swaying too much at the start. Yeah, I mean, I hit balls for a little, worked on my distances, putted and chipped and that's it.

Q. This golf course in particular, where does it rank in terms of favorite stops on the year for you?

NELLY KORDA: Hmm, I don't know. I feel like I enjoy every golf course that I get to play. They're all so different.

Obviously, I like it here just because I'm so used to this grass, and I've played well at this golf course. When it comes to favorite golf courses, I don't think I have any.

I always feel like it's the same thing with my clubs. If I have a favorite, then they're going to misbehave. I want all of them to be my favorite (laughing).

Q. Speaking of Jamie Mulligan, a story came out yesterday where he kind of gave a few more details on what you went through, and they're pretty eye-opening. I think my biggest reaction seeing it was I feel like most players would almost embrace it or tell about it. You kind of sat on those details. You almost downplayed it a little. I was curious what the choice was. I think the idea of, like, I was 2 centimeters away from death and now I'm No. 1 in the world again would appeal to a lot of people.

NELLY KORDA: I was not very happy with that article because that was a very -- I think that was blown out of proportion a good bit.

Q. Oh really?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it was definitely (laughing) not that bad, but I'm very private about my medical history, my medical issues. So in a sense, yeah, I think that article is just blown out of proportion, honestly.

Q. It's interesting because I get the sense that Team Korda is a pretty tight-knit ancillary unit.

NELLY KORDA: Private, yes.

Q. For you coach to come out and give those details to a reporter shocked me a little bit. Any more to say on that?

NELLY KORDA: No. Nothing to say.

Q. Nelly, just coming into this week now and being back out at this golf course, what do you take away from the experience coming so close here last year?

NELLY KORDA: I think ever since my rookie year I've had a good couple of finishes out here. I've been close. I've never kind of gotten to the finish line in a sense, but hopefully I can learn from the past.

I do think it's playing a little different this year, a little softer, and a little bit more difficult around the greens, I would say, so we'll see. Every week is a different test.

Doesn't matter if you are No. 1 in the world or 60th this week. Everyone has a fair chance. You don't get any strokes going into this event just because you're ranked higher, so we'll see how it goes.

Q. You talked about trying to make up for the lost time once you did get back out here. How do you feel like you did that? Did you put pressure on yourself, or did you approach things differently? How did that sort of affect you being back out here?

NELLY KORDA: I started out in Midland playing at a team event, and Jess and I put that on our schedule. Then obviously we did Europe, and I was on the road for, gosh -- after Canada I went to New York to watch my brother, so that was, like, seven weeks. Then I went home for, like, two or three days to just change my clothes out. I went to California, and then I played the next three: Portland, Arkansas, Dallas.

Just having that quick turnaround at home and not being able to just kind of decompress, I think it was more of a mental fatigue for me where I just felt like I was living out of a suitcase, and I was just tired. So lesson learned.

Q. After having such a strong finish last year there was so much build-up, I felt like, for you this season to see what you might do. Did you ever feel like frustrated or disappointed that you went through what you did or ever wonder, like, what if or what could have happened this year?

NELLY KORDA: Unsure just because I did go through what -- I was out for a while. I was out for, I don't know, three months. For me I had no expectations coming back, which I guess in a sense was good.

I feel like expectations definitely drive you to go insane in a sense, and I feel like it's good to have people around you to kind of calm you down and bring you back to earth. I've had that, so I'm definitely very grateful for them.

Even with what I've gone through I've felt like the beginning of the year is like another year. I feel like last year in a sense, like, is light years away. That's kind of what we try to focus on is the present. I think we do a really good job with that.

Q. Some pretty happy news out of the Korda camp. Jason, your caddie, announced he was expecting.


Q. Just how excited are you to be unofficial Aunt Nelly?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, super excited for them. It's definitely going to be a great new chapter in his life, him and Cara's life. He is going to be a great dad. They're going to be great, amazing parents.

He has been like a big brother to me for the past, like, five years that we've been together. I can't wait to see him kind of step into that new role. I know he is going to be great. I can't wait to spoil their kid (laughing).

Q. We're excited for you to be Aunt Nelly. Throughout the last five years, this championship and women's golf has grown so much so quickly. This year to be able to play for that $2 million first place check on Sunday, what does that tell you about the trajectory where women's golf is heading? And obviously you're a big part of that trajectory, but what do you think about where that means that women's golf is?

NELLY KORDA: It's amazing to kind of witness that throughout the years that I've been on tour. We're getting put on a great stage. I think we're showcasing women's golf really well. I feel like the LPGA, we have a great product out here, and every year it is getting better, and that's all we can ask for.

Hopefully it keeps trending in that way, but we're all very grateful for these opportunities that we have been given, especially by CME.

THE MODERATOR: With that I will wrap it up here with one last question. You answered this in an LPGA social video. A $2 million check to the winner. What would your first purchase be with that $2 million check?

NELLY KORDA: I kind of liked Lydia's answer. Just look at it in my bank account and possibly buy myself a car. I'll look at it and buy myself a sports car (laughing).

THE MODERATOR: The vroom vroom is my favorite part. Thank you very much, Nelly, and best of luck this week.

NELLY KORDA: Thanks, guys.

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127193-1-1878 2022-11-16 21:08:00 GMT

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