LOS ANGELES – Nelly Korda says she had no time to celebrate her victory at last week’s Meijer Classic because the third of five majors in 2021, the Women’s PGA Championship, was right around the corner.
“I didn’t get to,” Korda said of toasting her win at the Meijer. “I had to get right into the mode of getting in the head space of it’s major week.”
Korda hopes her win on Sunday gives her added confidence going into this week’s PGA, which boasts a field that includes all 13 winners on the LPGA Tour this year.
The US$4.5 million (S$6.05 million) tournament tees off Thursday (June 24) at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Georgia with the winner earning US$675,000.
Korda finished at 25-under 263 on Sunday to beat Ireland’s Leona Maguire by two strokes and break the tournament record at the Blythefield Country Club course in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The 22-year-old American is the only two time winner on the Tour this year having also won in February at the Gainbridge LPGA event. She leads the Tour in scoring average (69.03) and birdies made (180) and says the Atlanta course suits her game.
“It sets up pretty well actually. It’s nice to hit driver pretty much off every tee. You have to kind of thread it between a couple of bunkers. There’s a lot of bunkers in play this week,” she said.
“You have a lot of long irons into greens. Sometimes par is going to be really good out here, but making sure you take advantage of the par-fives is key as well.”
Defending champ Kim Sei-young, former tournament winner Brooke Henderson, seven-time LPGA winner Ko Jin-young and Korda’s older sister Jessica will also tee it up this week.
The last 10 majors have been won by 10 different players, including first time winners Patty Tavatanakit (ANA Inspiration) and Yuka Saso (US Women’s Open) doing it this year.
Kim set the tournament scoring record of 266 last year, beating runner-up Park In-bee by five shots. This is Kim’s first time defending a title as a major champion.
“Last year, the memory is really special,” she said. “In all the tournaments I had regrets. I could have made a better choice or better shots. But after KPMG, it wasn’t like that. I thought that tournament was the first perfect game for myself.”
Canada’s Henderson captured this tournament in 2016 and also won earlier this year at the LPGA event in Los Angeles.
Henderson says she has been focusing on improving her putting.
“I’ve been trending well with my putting over the last few months, putting in some extra work on that. That always needs to show up on Sunday of a major championship.”
Next month Henderson will head to Tokyo to represent her native Canada at the Olympics. She also competed in the 2016 Rio Games.
“When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being in the Olympics somehow, being an Olympian. I didn’t know how I was going to get there, but then golf came back in, and I worked really hard to get on that team,” Henderson said.