September 10, 2020
Rancho Mirage, California, USA
Mission Hills Country Club
THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining us here today coming off a 6-under first round here. How were you feeling after you stepped off the course today?
NELLY KORDA: Tired. Good but tired, for sure. The heat definitely drains you.
THE MODERATOR: It's a nice way to close out with a nice little birdie. Take us through some of your highlights you would say were some of the best birdies of the day.
NELLY KORDA: I would say obviously on No. 1, haven't played for a week, first day of a major, your nerves are definitely there, so birdieing No. 1 was nice, and then I would say the bunker shot on No. 11 was really nice, too. I love tap-in birdies.
THE MODERATOR: During the first two rounds at AIG Women's Open you were definitely in contention there, as well. Do you think about times like that when you're coming off the course with the low round of the day?
NELLY KORDA: Not really. I mean, for me there's still three more days to play. There's so much golf out there. You never know what's going to happen. And if I just string together another couple good rounds, then we'll see where it goes.
THE MODERATOR: You're a Florida girl yourself, you said you're used to this Bermudagrass. How do you think you fared out there and how did you learn and adapt to what the heat was doing to the greens, as well?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, honestly, I'm used to like the fairways, but the greens are so jumpy and firm that honestly like in Florida you don't have that this time of year. You don't get used to it. I think it's kind of very similar green-wise to maybe CME, maybe not as jumpy, but it's really pure out there and they've done a really good job with the course maintenance.
THE MODERATOR: Were you surprised by your round today or were you out there feeling as confident as ever as you embarked on the first round?
NELLY KORDA: I felt good really ever since my last two events at British and in Arkansas. If I keep my head up and stay calm out there, which my caddie Jason and I did a really good job of doing today and staying hydrated, then it's a lot easier.
THE MODERATOR: Didn't you say that he'd have to constantly remind you to drink water?
NELLY KORDA: He did, yeah, and he reminded me to eat out there, too, so he was really good today.
THE MODERATOR: What is it about the heat tomorrow you think you'll have to fare with kind of a more morning tee time than maybe this afternoon that you had?
NELLY KORDA: I actually heard it was a little chilly in the morning today, so I don't know what to expect tomorrow. But it was definitely hot at the start of my round, then towards the end of it we got a little bit of cloud coverage, so that was really nice. And just drinking lots of water and staying really patient out there is key.
THE MODERATOR: What does this do for your confidence heading into the next three days to know that you're able to come out as strong as you did today on the first day?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it feels good. As I said, there's still so much golf to be played, and I'm just going to take it shot by shot and see how it goes.
Q. I don't know what you mean by jumpy on the greens.
NELLY KORDA: They're very firm and they have a big first bounce. So sometimes you have a lot with longer clubs that just shoots. You have to make sure you land it on the front of the green but sometimes you don't have enough room to work with, so there's a lot of times where you hit a really good shot but you end up in the rough on the back end of the green.
Q. Did that happen to you today, and if so, where?
NELLY KORDA: I had it a couple times. I was short actually, just because you're always playing to that front number and it was a tight landing spot, but I had it on, from what I can think of, I had it on No. 8 today.
Q. On the par-3?
NELLY KORDA: Yes.
Q. And then kind of along those lines, when you're here in April, are you always playing to the front number then, too?
NELLY KORDA: No. I mean, if you -- if you're out there you can't even see your pitch marks. It's that firm. So definitely in April you have to fix pitch marks. It's not as firm. It's different. There's not -- I can't describe it. It's just really different. It's very bouncy on this Bermuda.
THE MODERATOR: Your parents are following you along, like usual. How cool is it to still see them out here? There's not a lot of fans, but being able to see familiar faces like them walking along.
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it's really nice actually. It's nice to get some clapping occasionally. Yeah, they're definitely our biggest fans, and we wouldn't be where we are without them, so it's super nice. Actually they haven't been out since the two first Florida events, so it's really nice to have them here.
THE MODERATOR: Were they supporting your brother last week at the U.S. Open?
NELLY KORDA: My dad was, yeah. My mom was at home.
THE MODERATOR: Was it cool to be able to watch that during the week off?
NELLY KORDA: Super cool. I actually flew in on Monday from Arkansas and I jumped straight in front of the TV to watch him, so it was really cool. Hopefully -- he looked really good, so hopefully he keeps trending upwards. It would be really cool to see him succeed.
Q. You talked about the bunker shot on 11; what was that? Didn't you talk about a bunker shot on 11?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I was very happy with that one, a little tap-in birdie.
Q. What club did you have?
NELLY KORDA: 58-degree.
Q. And the other thing, did you have a sense of what scoring was going to be like from practice rounds, and when you saw kind of a big group at 4, did that give you any sense of how the day was going to play?
NELLY KORDA: Not really. I mean, every single time you try to guess going into the week during practice rounds, you're always so false because there can be a girl that shoots 8-under and you're like, it did not play for that number, like it was so much harder. So really like all these girls are so good out here nowadays, so you never know what the winning score or what someone is going to shoot out here.
Q. How did your dad do today, 36 holes?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, both of my parents 36 holes. I was like, you guys are going to sleep well tonight.
THE MODERATOR: Going into tomorrow, what's the one thing you think you're going to have to improve upon as you head into the next few days?
NELLY KORDA: Be more hydrated. Honestly, I really liked my game plan going into today, staying calm, and if I keep doing that, I think it will be good.
Q. I was curious what you think about the wall on 18 and how that will sort of impact how you'll play it.
NELLY KORDA: Actually I was talking to one of my friends Megan Khang, who she plays out on Tour -- obviously you know her. But she threw a ball under the thing on the back, and it actually went through into the water. Honestly, I wish they didn't have that wall there because I think it would play really cool as like an island green, but as well, it's like really close to the green this year. Like usually the palm trees, if you're like left side, you have to play around them or they come in play, but this year it's very close to the green.
Q. Do you think you'll go for it then when they move the tee up?
NELLY KORDA: Depending on where I am and what club I have in.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Nelly, for joining us.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports