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June 21, 2022

Nelly Korda

Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Congressional Country Club (Blue Course)

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to the media center with Nelly Korda, our defending KPMG Women's PGA Championship winner. That's got to be fun to hear. Welcome back. I know it's a different venue, but it still has to be a fun week for you to come back and first time defending a major title.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it's going to be a super exciting and challenging week for sure, and I'm ready for it.

THE MODERATOR: First, I want to look back a year ago. A lot has changed for you certainly over the last year, but we'll look a year ago at Atlanta Athletic. What are your big take-aways from that week beyond the win? How important was it for you to get that title and be able to say Nelly Korda, major champion?

NELLY KORDA: It was a big week. Especially, when I won, I became No. 1 player in the world too. That was definitely a big, kind of, step in my career that I could check that off my list.

Obviously, going into professional golf and playing this for a living and loving it so much, it's something that you want to do. You want to contend in majors. You want to win major championships, and you want to be the No. 1 player in the world.

To finally kind of get it done last year was really nice. Yeah.

THE MODERATOR: And to do it all at once.

NELLY KORDA: Exactly, yeah. I couldn't have thought of a better way, honestly.

THE MODERATOR: How much did you learn about yourself as a player, as a person on and off the course from everything you achieved that week?

NELLY KORDA: It feels like forever ago, honestly. I feel like the stars have to align for you to win just a regular event and for it to be a major championship as well. I feel like every time I put myself in contention and every single time I go out there on the golf course and play under pressure, I learn from it.

I don't think I've changed a bunch in the past year. In a sense I think I've just become a little bit more consistent and confident that I can win a major championship. But, yeah, I think I've just kind of learned my way around the major championship week and not to put too much pressure on myself and to enjoy every moment too because a lot of people emphasize major championship weeks so much.

Maybe they put a little too much pressure on themselves when at the end of the day you're playing with the same girls pretty much every single week. You're all going for the title. I think the people that play the best, enjoy themselves the most on the golf course.

THE MODERATOR: Now we're here a year later. Certainly the last three, four months haven't been what you expected. Things outside your control. As I was saying yesterday, watching you in that playoff, you would never know you were coming off such a long layover.

How hard have you worked to get yourself back to clearly being back in playing shape as you head in here this week?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I made sure that I was 100% before coming back and even just hitting golf balls, obviously. My health came first.

Once I was healthy and I did my rehab even just for my shoulder, because I was struggling with that a little last year, I made sure that I can kill two birds with one stone. I've said that a couple of times, but I'll continue to.

I made sure that also I had my coach there when I was hitting golf balls, Jamie Mulligan, for the first time. I think that was really important for me because that was the longest time I think I've ever gone without hitting a golf ball.

Yeah, ever since I started hitting, it's just been kind of full throttle, and I have been practicing pretty much. I have not taken more than two or three days off since then. I'm just happy to be out here playing competitive golf.

I gave myself a chance last week. If you told me that when I was laying in the ER, I would have definitely been very happy with that.

THE MODERATOR: Absolutely. You mentioned Jamie. I know he is a PGA professional. We're here with the PGA of America this week. How long have you been working with him, and what does he bring to your game?

NELLY KORDA: Completely different perspective. He is probably the most positive person there is. I love just being in his presence. He's such a great guy.

Unfortunately, he is not here this week, but I had him out at my first event at the Women's Open, and it was really, really nice to just have him out there. He is great.

We started working together kind of November of last year I think. Maybe, I think, a little before October.

THE MODERATOR: So one last question from me before we open it up. I believe you just finished up your Pro-Am.


THE MODERATOR: So you have seen Congressional. It's a beast. It's a big, beautiful course out there. What do you think it's going to bring to you guys when you tee it up tomorrow?

NELLY KORDA: Thursday.

THE MODERATOR: Thursday. My days are all --

NELLY KORDA: Is it already Wednesday? It just depends on the weather we get. I think we're going to get some weather on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, which I think it's going to soften up the golf course a little.

It just depends on how they set it up. It can be a big, big beast, or it could be a little soft like I saw this morning. I think they watered the greens. It was a lot softer than when I was chipping in the afternoon. It just depends on how PGA of America is going to set up the golf course.

THE MODERATOR: Overall, certainly a major test?

NELLY KORDA: Oh, yeah, yeah. It's going to be a really fun track.

Q. Nelly, it's one thing to come back after a four-month layoff and have one good round. To come back and be in contention the way you have been in a couple of events, what do you attribute that to?

NELLY KORDA: That's a good question. I've just put in a lot of work, honestly. I've put in a lot of work into my body and also my golf game since I've been back, and I've just been about consistency.

I think it's also about the attitude that you have on the golf course. I feel like the more you enjoy it out there, the better you play, the less you get kind of ticked off, the less things go wrong, I guess, in a sense.

Since I've been back, I've made sure that I've had a good attitude and enjoyed every second of it, and I think that's contributed to my good play.

Q. Would you say the fact that you missed it during that four-month period has led you to have a much better attitude now as you play?

NELLY KORDA: For sure. I think life is about perspective, and when you look at it a different way, you enjoy and you have a lot more respect for the game, and you're a lot more humble about it too, and you just enjoy yourself a lot more. I think that goes a long way in golf because golf is about -- a lot of it is mental.

Q. Nelly, you talked about a lot of the work that you've put in recently. How has that changed at all over the last few months given all that you've been through?

NELLY KORDA: Like recently? Like, still on the road, if I'm still doing all of that? I have a physio with me, and I do a lot of pre-round stuff and post-round, so I'm still working hard. I'm still making sure that I'm doing everything just so I don't go back to my shoulder injury.

I definitely am putting a lot more time into my body. In a sense being what my parents say is a little more professional. (Laughing).

Q. We've heard Tiger Woods talk over the years about that, that it takes him hours to get ready to get ready of after a round. How long does it take you to get ready, and then at the end of the day, what's that look like for you?

NELLY KORDA: I typically get to the golf course two hours before my tee time, and after it just depends on my body. Obviously, if I'm not hitting it well, I'll have a little warm-down, but I'll always have an hour session with my physio as well after.

Q. You mentioned this is going to be a really fun track this week here at Congressional. What about the challenge of going up and seeing approach shots where you can't see the bottom of the pins, some of these holes? What do you make of that challenge?

NELLY KORDA: There's definitely a lot of blind approach shots. I think more into the front nine than the back nine. There is definitely one that's a little scary into the back nine.

I think it will be fun. I don't think I've played a golf course where I've had so many blind approach shots in. Definitely not going to be seeing good shot too early this week, but, yeah, it's a really fun track.

PGA of America can do whatever they want with it. They can make it extremely hard or make it scorable as well. I think it will be a lot of fun to see how the week plays out.

Q. You mentioned there's a scary one on the back. Which hole are you thinking of specifically?

NELLY KORDA: I'm pretty sure it's like -- I don't know what number it is, but there's a long pole behind it. I think it's like -- you can see it from the clubhouse. I think maybe 15.

Q. The flag pole?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, 15.

Q. It's scary in the sense that it's hard to get depth control of it?

NELLY KORDA: Well, correct. You just have to trust it, right? You just have to trust that you have to go left of it, and you can't see the pin. You don't know how it's going to bounce because the contour of the green is pretty crazy too.

I mean, I've said so much about the blind approach shots, but these greens are crazy too. If they speed them up and then they get firm, it could be really tough as well.

THE MODERATOR: You are teeing off Thursday -- not tomorrow -- with Inbee and Brooke. That's a pretty powerful trio there. What's the thoughts of playing with two other KPMG champions? You're part of that group now.

NELLY KORDA: Amazing feeling, obviously. I played with Brooke the first two days last week, so we'll have a lot to talk about again. (Laughing).

I'll take today, rest in the afternoon, and tomorrow prep again, and hopefully we can showcase some good golf.

THE MODERATOR: Love it. No doubt you will. Thanks, Nelly.

NELLY KORDA: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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