Nelly Korda Wins the Women’s PGA Championship

The victory sends Korda to the top of the Rolex Rankings.

By Savannah Moore

Nelly Korda was always destined for greatness, but most would’ve assumed it would have been in tennis, not golf. Korda’s father, Petr is a former Australian Open champion, and was once the No. 2 ranked tennis player in the world. Her mother, Regina, achieved a world ranking of 26, and her brother, Sebastian, is currently competing at Wimbledon.

Despite her bloodline pointing her towards the tennis court, Korda decided to follow the path of her older sister, Jessica, and play golf.

Nelly Korda with her 2021 Women’s PGA Championship trophy.
SOURCE: Getty Images

Korda became a golf prodigy, competing alongside her sister at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open a month before her 15th birthday. In 2017 she won her first LPGA Tour title, then in 2019 she won the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open to complete a “Family Slam” in Australia. Petr won the 1998 Australian Open, Jessica won the Women’s Australian Open in 2012, and Sebastian won the Junior Boy’s 2018 Australian Open in tennis. 

By 2021 Korda had not only passed her sister in the world rankings, she was within striking distance of becoming the first in the Korda family to be No. 1 in the world. At the 2021 U.S Women’s Open in June, No.4 Nelly Korda was in the same group with her sister for the first time at a major. What should have been a nice day of golf and sisterly love quickly turned into a nightmare for the younger Korda sister. Jessica would finish tied for 30th as her sister missed the cut at the U.S. Open. 

Instead of dwelling on her disappointing performance at the Open, Korda went home and trained with her father. Just two weeks after missing the cut at the U.S Open, Korda would play some of the best golf of her career at the Meijer LPGA Classic. Korda set the tournament record for scoring after three rounds en route to her second win of the LPGA Tour season.

The momentum carried over for Korda entering the Women’s PGA Championship, showing that her performance at the previous major was no longer in her mind. Korda separated herself from the pack early and never looked back. By the final round of the tournament Korda had amassed a five-stroke lead, even a shot falling into the water on the 15th hole couldn’t stop her.

15-year-old Nelly Korda at the 2013 U.S Open with her father/caddie Petr.
SOURCE: Getty Images

Jessica Korda was out on the green to embrace her sister after she became the first member of the Korda family to win a major since Petr’s Australian Open victory in 1998. Petr was the first person that Nelly facetimed after her victory since he is in London with Nelly’s brother, Sebastian, at Wimbledon. Sebastian talked about how inspirational his sister’s victory was as he makes his first appearance at Wimbledon, and seeks to hopefully win a major of his own.

Korda’s victory has allowed her to accomplish the one thing that her father was never able to: become the world’s No. 1. Korda not only became the first member of her family to reach the top spot in the world rankings, she is also the first American to top the Rolex Rankings in seven years.

If Korda can carry this momentum further it may lead her to gold. Both Korda sisters will be heading to the Olympics as part of Team USA, and as the world’s new No. 1, Nelly has become the odds-on favorite to win gold.

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