It’s an instinct, a shift into another gear. When a challenge is presented, Nelly Korda elevates her game and rises to the occasion.
In 2013, Korda was 14 years old. She still had braces on her teeth but qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack Golf Club in New York. Instead of being the wide-eyed teenager, Korda squared up every competitor like they were her next target.
“Yes, I do love a challenge. I am very competitive,” Korda said after a bogey-free, 4-under par 66 in the second round of the Pelican Women’s Championship presented by Konica Minolta and Raymond James. “I go into every week wanting to win, that’s the goal. Some weeks aren’t as great as others, but I take those as learning experiences. I’m very competitive and I do have that drive, and hopefully that gets me to the top.”
Growing up as the middle of three children, she learned from her sister Jessica and competed with her brother Sebastian. Competition is in her nature and a characteristic of her personality that has been on full display throughout the 2021 LPGA Tour season.
“Ever since I was a child. Those Monopoly games with my brother got really heated growing up,” Korda said laughingly.
At the halfway point in Belleair, Fla., Korda is 9-under. She’s within striking distance of her seventh LPGA Tour title and fourth this season. And with Rolex Player of the Year honors still up for grabs, watch out for the tiger lurking around every fairway at Pelican Golf Club over the weekend.
“I've been really consistent off the tee and into the greens. I gave myself a lot of good looks today, just didn't make enough putts,” said Korda. “I think just continuing to hit the way I have been and hopefully rolling some putts into the hole, make some birdies.”