U.S. Women's Open

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Southern Pines, North Carolina, USA

Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club

Nelly Korda

Press Conference


THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to the interview area of the 77th U.S. Women's Open presented by ProMedica. Nelly, back for the first time in a while. Excited to be back.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, super excited. Feeling good. Yeah, everything is good. Took a couple months off, but body feels great, and I'm just so happy to be out.

THE MODERATOR: I know you just played eight holes. Impressions of the golf course?

NELLY KORDA: I think I played like 14 holes yesterday, and I kind of walked the rest in, and then I played obviously the front nine today.

It's really nice, beautiful, Donald Ross, small greens, lots of falloffs. The greens are definitely going to be hard this week.

I'm just excited to get it going. I'm super excited to be out here, too.

Q. Blood clots are dangerous; can you tell us the anxiety of getting the news, how you got it and what the next few days were like after that?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I was just feeling funny. My arm wasn't feeling too great. I listened to my body. I went to the ER, got some ultrasounds, found out that I had a blood clot, went back home and saw a specialist, Dr. Michael Leopore, he was great. Can't think of a better doctor to do the procedure. I've been good ever since.

Q. If you could kind of give us a little timeline of the date of your procedure and then when you started to hit balls again and when you played your first few holes or total round.

NELLY KORDA: Do you remember the date? I don't remember the date of it.

Obviously it was, I think, around late February or early March. I think if you go back to my post -- I don't remember the date, but, again, I was supposed to fly out to the West Coast that next morning and I just felt funny.

I called my family doctor, and he advised me to go to the ER. I went to the ER, found out I had a blood clot, went back home, searched for a specialist, found one in Sarasota that was great, and then obviously had my procedure.

Obviously I did a lot, a lot of rehab and I worked -- I went actually out to California for a month, did rehab there, worked with my coach Jamie Mulligan. Wanted him to be there for when I first started hitting balls.

Yeah, I think it was around the time of probably the second LA event that I started hitting balls. I started obviously gradually really slow. I probably went like 60 percent. I was hitting like my 8-iron 100 yards to see how it was feeling, and then once I got the clearance from my doctor, then I was good to go.

Q. Did you miss competition, and if so, more or less than you thought?

NELLY KORDA: Oh, yeah. It was actually really hard to watch. I think I watched Jess's final round only at Chevron. But other than that, yeah, definitely -- that one hurt a lot just because it was the last event, the last time there.

But yeah, I've missed it so much. Definitely as I got closer to this week, I started finally hitting it a little longer, I think the juices started flowing a little bit more, but I'm so happy to be out here. I've missed everyone, and I'm just grateful.

Q. Did doctors give you any indication on what the cause of the blood clot was?

NELLY KORDA: Yes, but I would like to keep that private. Medical history, I'd just like to keep that to myself.

Q. What does rehab for a blood clot look like? What kind of activities and exercises? How do you make yourself better?

NELLY KORDA: I was just doing a lot of like shoulder -- just more of shoulder and back exercises. I've been kind of struggling with my shoulder a little here and there for actually the past year, so I was saying, kill two birds with one stone.

I kind of just made sure that I was ready and 100 percent going into my comeback, and I didn't really want to rush it or anything. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to have any issues, even if it was just with like a little bit of my shoulder bugging me coming back in.

Q. Where in California was that that you did the rehab?

NELLY KORDA: Where in California? It was in Calabasas area.

Q. I am wondering what your expectations are this week given all that.

NELLY KORDA: To tee up and to hit my first shot on Thursday. That is as far as I'm looking right now. I've been out of competition since early February, and I'm honestly just grateful to be out here. I'm going to take it one step at a time. I'm not expecting too much.

Girls are already in the midst of their seasons and they have a bunch of rounds under their belts. I'm coming into like a weird part of the schedule where I have the U.S. Women's Open then I'm defending at Meijer, and then I'm defending at KPMG. I have a few big events coming up.

Honestly, I'm trying not to think about it too much, and I'm just more grateful that I'm out here, I'm being able to compete, and I'm seeing all the girls, too.

Q. If someone came along and offered you a $10 million purse every week, is that something you'd be interested in playing?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah. I don't know if anyone would say no to that.

Q. Instead of playing the LPGA --

NELLY KORDA: Oh, that is something I've never thought of. Right now I have my eyes set on the LPGA, and that's where I'm thinking.

Q. It's a big issue in the men's Tour at the moment.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, correct. That's the men's Tour. I don't think there's much talk on the women's, and so far all the girls are just setting their eyes on the LPGA and hoping to make their mark out here.

Q. When you finally started hitting, putting, was this sort of a weekend that you circled maybe a target date to get back?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I obviously wanted -- I didn't want my first event back being the U.S. Women's Open, but I wasn't kind of -- I was just more thinking like I want to be 100 percent, and that's all I was thinking.

Then when I was 100 percent, I was going to set my eyes on what event I could come back at.

Q. Does the time away from the sport change your perspective at all about playing out here and being one of the faces of the Tour?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, for sure. It's like when you're sick and your nose is stuffy, you're so grateful to be able to breathe. I feel like it's the same way. I think when it's kind of taken away from you, you kind of sit back and you realize how amazing of a sport it is and then how you can travel the world and how you can just do what you love.

Yeah, I definitely missed it.

Q. There may come a time when you get back in the thick of it and you kind of -- it's easy to lose perspective again once you are over it. Do you think this is something you'll take with you and kind of be able to use it in the future to steady yourself and remember to be grateful and all that kind of thing?

NELLY KORDA: I think golf is a sport that really humbles you anyway, so I don't think I'll have an issue with that. There is always a hiccup here and there in the season that really makes you step back and kind of respect the game.

Again, it just humbles you, as well, and it doesn't make you too cocky.

Q. I know you normally wear sun sleeves. Is this like a compression sleeve?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it is a compression sleeve right now. I don't know how long I'm going to wear it for, but just for a little definitely it's going to be there. I'm not sure if I'm going to wear the sun sleeve over it. Probably I will. I don't need this arm to be like tan and this one to be white. That would be really weird.

Q. Are there any other preventative things you do?

NELLY KORDA: No, just that.

Q. From your perspective on the course, what part of the course is going to challenge the players most or challenge you most?

NELLY KORDA: There's a lot of falloffs. I think visually you think that a hole off the tee is a dogleg where you think you're going to have to maybe cut a corner, but when in reality you're on the fairway you're like, wow, I have a lot more room to the right.

So making sure you're more realistic in that way. Obviously there's a lot of falloffs on the greens, so making sure you hit your approach shots in and just give yourself some easier putts, two-putt par, and if you have a chance to go for it -- there's only, I think, three par-5s on this golf course. I think maybe one or two are reachable. They can make another one reachable, as well.

It just depends how it is going to play. I think the defense of this golf course are definitely the falloffs on the greens because it's Bermuda too. It's very grainy around the greens. Your club gets stuck quite a bit, so I think the greens are definitely its defense.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
121069-1-1041 2022-05-31 15:03:00 GMT

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