Nelly Korda is Back in Action at Baltusrol
Nelly Korda is back. And now, after a few weeks away, Nelly Korda’s back is not bothering her anymore.
The 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner is returning to action on the LPGA Tour for the first time since mid-May after back soreness sidelined her after she missed the cut at the Cognizant Founders Cup.
Korda has had only one finish outside the top-6 on the leaderboard in the seven events she teed it up in prior to the Founders Cup – clearly her game is in fine form. But if there were any questions about her health, she made it quite clear she was back and ready to roll.
“Just been kind of grinding away. Got out here, played nine (on Monday), played 18 today, and going to play the back nine again tomorrow and tee it up Thursday, and I'm very excited,” Korda said.
Korda won the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship two years ago at Atlantic Athletic Club for her first major-championship triumph. She also ascended to World No.1 for the first time with the win.
Atlantic Athletic Club is a storied facility, and, there is obviously a ton of history at Baltusrol too. Korda said being able to play these historic golf courses are special opportunities.
“I know that's kind of the goal is to perform the best that you possibly can at these majors, and I think it's just a cherry on top to play at these golf courses that have so much rich history,” Korda said.
“But honestly, they're amazing pieces of property. When I just walked out here yesterday and I played the front nine, I couldn't believe what kind of condition the golf course was in. I think that the women's game is really making a step forward where we get to play all these historic venues.”
While Korda is thrilled at the opportunity to tee it up at a place like Baltusrol, she’s even more happy to get to play again – period. She was forced to take a long break last year after suffering from a blood clot in her arm, and this year she wanted to make sure the pain in her lower back didn’t turn into something even worse by grinding it out.
“It's sometimes nice to reset after playing. I played eight events. I think I just skipped two throughout the beginning of the year. So, it's nice to take a step back, get a break in a sense,” Korda said. “I think it also makes you appreciate playing out here, traveling and getting to do what you love when it's kind of taken away from you and you have to take a forced break.”
While there has been plenty of excellent results from some of the game’s best to start the 2023 campaign – both Jin Young Ko and Lilia Vu have won twice, with Vu winning the first major of the season – Korda is coming into this week’s championship with an extra level of motivation after being forced to recover the last few weeks.
“When (golf) is taken away from you, when you’re having to take a forced break in a sense, you appreciate the life a little bit more. I feel like I love the game of golf. I love competing. I have so much fun doing this and traveling. It just makes me appreciate it more,” Korda said, “and a little bit more hungry.”
Korda, World No. 2, will be grouped with World No. 1 Jin Young Ko and World No. 3 Lydia Ko for the first two rounds.
While she’ll be surrounded by some of the best in the world, Korda is back and as ready as ever to try to win another KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – and is back healthy.
“I honestly wouldn’t be playing if I wasn’t 100 percent,” Korda said.