PHOENIX – Nelly Korda’s coach, David Whelan, always tells her the identical factor: “You’ll be able to’t be excellent.”
Similar goes for her father, Petr.
“You’ve simply acquired to calm down,” Petr advised her final Sunday again dwelling in Bradenton, Fla. Nelly had requested her dad to come back alongside for an 18-hole follow spherical, making the most of the truth that her brother Sebastian wasn’t dwelling taking on his time. Petr, a former Grand Slam champ, takes care of Sebastian’s tennis profession. He makes out Nelly’s event schedule too.
“I need to follow completely,” stated Nelly. “I need to play completely on a regular basis.”
Whereas 2019 hasn’t been excellent for younger Nelly, it’s been spectacular. Coming into this week’s Financial institution of Hope Founders Cup, the beginning of a three-week stretch on the West Coast, Nelly leads the tour in cash ($380,493) due to 4 top-10 finishes, together with a victory in February on the ISPS Handa Girls’s Australian Open.
Extremely, Nelly grew to become the fourth member of the Korda household to win an Australian title. Petr received the 1998 Australian Open tennis event. Eldest daughter, Jessica, recorded her first LPGA victory on the 2012 Girls’s Australian Open. Sebastian received the 2018 Australian Open junior tennis event 20 years after his father received the Grand Slam.
On Monday night in Phoenix, Jessica and Nelly spent two hours collectively at dinner, not having seen one another in over six weeks. Jessica makes her 2019 debut this week at Wildfire Golf Membership after lacking the primary 5 occasions of the 12 months because of a lingering forearm harm.
As Jessica fell down the Rolex Rankings to No. 14, Nelly moved as much as No. 8. With seventh-ranked Lexi Thompson skipping the Founders Cup, Nelly is the highest-ranked American within the area with the most popular recreation.
“Sky’s the restrict for her,” stated U.S. captain Juli Inkster of the potential Solheim Cup rookie. “She’s acquired all of the pictures.”
If their schedules work out, Nelly stated, the sisters wish to associate up later this summer time within the new Dow Nice Lakes Bay Invitational, a staff occasion. Taking part in collectively in a Solheim Cup, nicely, that might be a dream.
No sisters have ever been paired collectively within the biennial occasion. The Sorenstam sisters, Annika and Charlotta, performed on the identical European staff in 1998 however with completely different companions.
Two years in the past, Nelly was left off of Inkster’s squad in Des Moines, Iowa, and Jessica withdrew because of harm. Inkster wouldn’t decide to placing them collectively in Gleneagles, Scotland, however did say that “it could be cool for the sport of golf to see these two play collectively.”
Potential American Solheim gamers are fitted for garments early week on the Founders Cup. Brittany Lincicome seemed longingly at this 12 months’s ensembles. She’ll miss the September contest as a result of she’s because of give start to a child woman two weeks previous to the occasion. The 33-year-old has performed in each Solheim Cup since 2007.
It’s an uncommon 12 months throughout the board for Inkster. With Michelle Wie out once more this week with a wrist harm, she’s at present on the surface wanting in within the factors race. Similar goes for brand spanking new mothers Gerina Piller and Stacy Lewis. Piller missed the entire 2017 season and has solely 17 factors. (Nelly leads the checklist with 347 factors. The highest eight qualify off of factors and the eighth participant in, Austin Ernst, at present has 187.)
“I foresee Stacy taking part in her method on,” stated Inkster. Lewis is at present 17th in Solheim standings.
Cristie Kerr and Angela Stanford are the 2 gamers who, if the staff have been chosen at the moment, would get in off the Rolex Rankings. Because it stands now, Marina Alex, Megan Khang and Nelly can be the three rookies who would mechanically qualify.
It may be the primary 12 months since 2005 that the U.S. fields a staff with out Paula Creamer, who withdrew from this week’s Founders Cup because of harm.
After the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in April, Inkster plans to ask the highest 12 to 14 gamers off the checklist, plus 4 captain’s alternatives, for a staff bonding expertise in San Francisco. There might be no golf.
“I believe Nelly goes to kill it,” stated Lincicome.
Perfection not required.