PNC Championship

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Orlando, Florida, USA

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club

Nelly Korda

Petr Korda

Press Conference

MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Nelly and Petr Korda into the interview room. Nelly, we'll start with you. Welcome to the PNC Championship. You guys finished T5 last year. Just talk about being back and hoping to improve on that.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it's super nice to be back. There's no better way to end the year than to play alongside my dad in the PNC.

So just super excited to be back with my dad, to tee it up this week and hopefully create many more memories.

MODERATOR: Along those same lines, Petr, just talk about playing with Nelly this week.

PETR KORDA: It's a big bonus for me --

NELLY KORDA: Heck, yeah, it is.

PETR KORDA: Thank you. No, it's always fun to be around my kids. And especially playing with her under the pressure, it's something which I will never forget.

And it's great we've been invited again, and hopefully we can have the same performance like we had last year.

MODERATOR: One thing that will be different is the weather. Nelly, you just got off the golf course. Talk about the conditions this week.


PETR KORDA: Horrible.

NELLY KORDA: Right now, I think today and tomorrow it's supposed to be really windy, and then obviously the wind is supposed to go into Saturday and Sunday with a good bit of rain.

So I think for the golf course, the greens are pretty -- if it didn't rain and the winds would be this high, it would be very difficult because the greens are pretty firm.

But I think with the amount of rain that the golf course is going to get, the greens are going to be a little bit more receptive.

So we'll see. I mean, at the end of the day, it's golf. Like, everyone is going to play through the same exact type of weather. So at the end of the day, all we have to do is just enjoy our company and try to play well.

MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Petr, if you think back to last year and your first time playing in a proper tournament with people and other professionals, et cetera, did you feel at all out of your comfort zone?

PETR KORDA: I was definitely out of my comfort zone.

NELLY KORDA: This is our third year.

PETR KORDA: It's my third year. Definitely out of my comfort zone. I would love to take any golfers, any pros onto my land, on the stadium court, with the 5,000 people; it probably would be challenging for them.

But, you know, I have a great player next to me in which if I hit into the lakes, she can carry, she can carry me over. But it's tough.

NELLY KORDA: I thought we talked about you're carrying the team this year.

PETR KORDA: No, it's challenging. It's challenging.

Q. Have you found with each year that passes that you're a little bit more comfortable, or are you still out of your zone?

PETR KORDA: This year will be maybe even more nerve-racking because she's putting the pressure on me, like counting on me.

I'll try my best. But as long as I can hit straight, I'll be very happy.


Q. Petr, what do you learn during a week like this?

PETR KORDA: I learned the Pro-Ams are really tough. And I have lot of respect for the pros because it's five, six hours being over there and today and just -- and then Thursday come and play, you know, like a -- really like a champ, it's difficult for me to keep the format. But I enjoy those moments and it's very important.

NELLY KORDA: I think for him, too, we discussed it the first year that we played in 2021, it was the first tee shot, the nerves that you have as someone -- obviously, he explained, if we were on the tennis court, obviously we would feel more nerves.

But I feel like I'm more comfortable on the first tee than I am on a stage public speaking. The same thing for him. The nerves that he felt probably, the rush of adrenaline that he hasn't felt in a really long time kind of came back too.

Q. What do you learn during weeks like this?

NELLY KORDA: Honestly, that golf is honestly just bigger than yourself. It's nice to kind of take a step back from playing by yourself and have a teammate and have someone that you can enjoy 18 holes with, 36 holes with, and hopefully perform too.

Q. And your sport and her sport often get compared because they're individual, but I'm curious if there has ever been over the years as you are teaching lessons to your children a cross-sport analogy between tennis and golf that has really made sense. Or maybe if you remember one that has kind of clicked.

NELLY KORDA: All the time.

PETR KORDA: I mean, it's both individual sports, and I know they're a little bit different because like in tennis, you know, you can -- I don't want to say give up some points, but let's say you can lose the game in love and it doesn't matter because you have serve and you can still be in the game.

Here, one, two shots you could be out of the tournament.

So it's a different setup. But end of the day, it's you're under the microscope because every bad stroke or bad stroke is very visible. And also when you play well, the glory, it's all yours.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I think that's the most similar thing for individual sports is the mentality of it versus obviously the technical sport of it.

PETR KORDA: Team sports.

Q. The mentality would seem to be a huge difference, I would think. Tennis is just constant reactive and movement you hit --

NELLY KORDA: Well, in tennis you have an opponent. Our opponent as golfers is the golf course. You don't go head-to-head versus someone. In a playoff, you do, but we mainly just play the golf course. As much as people try to put us against another player, we're playing the golf course. Versus they're -- they can't control what happens. I mean, they have to play an opponent.

Q. More competitive, I would think, just the attitude in tennis compared with golf?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I mean, I feel like in golf you have to learn to -- in tennis you can ride the wave of emotions. In golf you have to kind of bring it back down and you have to relax and zone in again, while in tennis you can ride the wave of the highs.

Q. I mean, five hours, you're engaged how often over your shot, 15 minutes, 20?

NELLY KORDA: I don't know. I mean, obviously I try to stay in it as much as possible, but to do that for five, five and a half hours a day, I mean, I think you're going to go absolutely insane.

And that's why it's good to have a good teammate out there like a caddie that you can just kind of zone out with and talk about just life in general, just different type of topics, and then when it's time to hit, that's when you zone in.

Q. Coming off the Grant Thornton, which was a really cool event, you guys have match play. International Crown is every two years I think right?


Q. Would you like to see some different formats introduced to golf, and have you -- for what might work?

NELLY KORDA: I think there's definitely been more noise in the past couple years regarding to maybe doing a team event with the men and women. I think that would be a lot of fun.

But, I mean, I would be a huge advocate for sure. I think that's a great way to grow the game and for us to also have a platform to show the men and everyone that's watching that we're just as good.

And I think that for the event to come together, that's out of my hands, but I know that anyone that you talk to, all the players are big advocates for it.

Q. Prize money is growing, attraction is there. Do you feel like the LPGA is getting enough attention as it should compared with other women's sports? And if not, what's holding it back, do you think?

NELLY KORDA: I mean, I think what's holding it back is that we're not on prime time TV obviously all the time like the men are. I think that's where you get the most viewership.

But it is trending in the right direction. And a lot of people, if you give them a finger, they want the whole hand, they want the whole arm. So you have to go a step at a time.

And I think that we are making the right steps forward as a Tour. But obviously being there, you would like it to progress maybe faster. But I think it's all about putting it in the right spot and on the right platform, and that's, honestly, prime time TV.

Q. You lost me on the finger-hand analogy.

NELLY KORDA: It's like you're very eager, you -- if someone -- I don't know how to explain it. You always say to us in Czech. Someone gives you like a hand, and then you want the entire arm, right? It's like --

Q. You want progress quickly?

NELLY KORDA: Yes, correct.

PETR KORDA: She's giving you a proper answer, you're not getting that --

NELLY KORDA: (Laughing.) Finger-hand situation.


NELLY KORDA: It's just an analogy, yeah.

Q. Forgive me for bringing up a tricky moment, but the last time I saw you two, it was in Spain, the 17th hole. And I know that didn't go the way that you probably envisioned it, but I was curious, now that you've had all these months -- not all these months, but a couple months to debrief from that exact moment, which is probably the most golf could get like tennis, one-on-one match, what's the takeaway from what happened there?

NELLY KORDA: She was just a better golfer. I mean, at the end of the day, she hit two amazing shots in a row. I mean, if -- I mean, the shot into 16 was incredible, and then I just hit a poor putt.

I mean, when you have thousands and thousands of fans yelling and you feel the emotions, I mean, I'm not going to lie and say I didn't feel the emotions. My heart was definitely not beating at its normal rate over that putt.

And that's just how it is. I mean, that's sports. In a sense it was like a Cinderella story, it's a Spaniard winning in Spain the final match.

At the end of the day, it's not what defines me, but it definitely wasn't easy being that match. But, I mean --

Q. Do you learn something from it?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I think you learn --

PETR KORDA: You learn from defeat quite a lot.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, the most.

PETR KORDA: You learn how to handle maybe next time better with your nerves and because it was very stressful.


PETR KORDA: For most players.

NELLY KORDA: I think you appreciate the highs when you're at your lows. So taking a step back, and I'm sure that's not going to be the last time something like that is going to happen because you can't control much in sports.

But, again, when my dad said I was under such a microscope there and I made a mistake and everyone saw it, right, and she was just a better player. And at the end of the day, I mean, hat's off to her. But, I mean, I learned more about myself and more about how to handle the pressure and maybe to be a little bit more aggressive in match play.

PETR KORDA: It's also beauty of the match play, same we have in tennis, you have the guys, they're performing well in the Davis Cup, and they are not performing that same way, you know, they're playing in individuals. So that's hat's off, you know, to the European team for closing the way they closed.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I would say like Leona McGuire, when you play her in Solheim Cup, you're like she's such an animal. She is such a good match play player. When you play her, you're like how is she not winning every week? She's draining putts from all over the green. She is a very, very good player. But, again, I think match play just brings out a different animal in a player. Yeah.

MODERATOR: Thank you for your time.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
139717-1-1222 2023-12-14 22:23:00 GMT

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