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March 31, 2024

Nelly Korda

Gilbert, Arizona, USA

Seville Golf and Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right, I'm joined here in the media center by Nelly Korda, winner of the Ford Championship presented by KCC.

Nelly, just talk through your day, especially the last few holes coming down the stretch, reaching 20-under.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I think it was definitely one of my least stressful wins today. I just played really solid golf. Didn't make really too many mistakes, and if I did I just had a chip, kind of straightforward chip.

Overall capitalized on the majority of my really good shots out there today and made some good putts as well.

So overall, just very, very pleased with how I played today in the tough conditions.

Q. And you were sitting in the clubhouse for a while until you officially knew you won. Talk about waiting to hear and maybe the emotions that come with that.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I was surrounded by friends. I was surrounded by Jason, baby Benton, Caro, so my usual people. Felt really calm and just waited it out.

I don't think I've ever been in a position like that where I was that many groups ahead of leaders. Yeah, just had a cup of soup to warm up because I was very, very cold and just watched the girls come in.

Q. With a crowded leaderboard headed into the last day, didn't play in the last group, but what was the mindset headed into today?

NELLY KORDA: Just not to be too distraught by the weather. To play my own game, stay in my own little bubble, and give it a good shot.

When I rolled that putt in on 9 I was one back, and my caddie -- actually Jason told me I was one back. I didn't know. That's when we kind of dialed in a little bit more. Just made sure we went through the process of every shot.

Yeah, just played some really solid golf coming in it, too.

Q. Obviously three straight wins in three straight starts. What's been different maybe mentally for you on the golf course that's really helped you to this success?

NELLY KORDA: I don't really know. (Smiling.) Just really enjoying myself out there. I mean, I love golf. I've always loved golf. Sometimes it's harder than other days.

Last year was definitely one of the harder years. I never really got any momentum going with injuries and such. The past two years in all honesty.

I would say the reset that I had after Bradenton really, really helped me. I really enjoyed my time off. Spent a lot of time with my family. Went back to Prague. I enjoyed life outside of golf a little. Just disconnected.

To me, that was just like the perfect reset going into this busy schedule.

Q. To have done what you've done on the golf course the last three times you tee'd it up, can you just put into words what it means to see this much of your hard work pay off and this success this quick in the year? I think you are one of a handful of players to win before April 1st three times in a row, which is insane.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I mean, I'm out on the golf course, but I have a whole team behind me that I couldn't have done it without them. When it comes to my family, the support system that I have with them, and then when it comes to my team, I'm just the player, but I have a whole group behind me that is helping me lead the way.

I think that I can't thank them enough. My success is their success.

Q. You mentioned you had some soup. There is an In-N-Out...

NELLY KORDA: In-N-Out is closed today.

Q. Going to have to find In-N-Out somewhere, right to celebrate the...

NELLY KORDA: No, Easter Sunday. Yeah.

Q. How do you think you'll celebrate then?

NELLY KORDA: A beautiful five hour drive to Vegas. Yeah, actually I went to a coffee shop this morning and their baked goods looked really good and I got myself an Almond croissant for the road. I'm thinking about that and that's making me very happy.

Q. How do you carry this into next week? Different format of course with match play, quick turnaround as well.

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it's a Wednesday start. Probably be on the golf course tomorrow and then pro-am Tuesday. I've never played at that golf course and it's a completely different format with first three days as stroke play and then the top eight girls get into match play, so going to try to reset, enjoy the day today. Reset and try to give it my all next week. It's a quick turnaround.

Q. Last one from me: Is it hard to not look ahead and beyond that to the first major or you've got to take them one at a time?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, just so one at a time. I mean, I think this is -- I don't know, I have been a professional golfer since 2016, and when you get ahead of yourself, it's just never going to be positive.

So I'm going to take it one tournament at a time. Stay very present. It's worked pretty well so far. Sometimes it's much harder than others. Your self-expectations, the expectations around you, too. I'm going to try and stay in my own little bubble and see how it goes.

Q. You had your house family here with you from your first professional win.


Q. What was it like to see them and having seen them since then?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, Jeff and Kendall. I stayed with them back in the day when it was Symetra; now it's Epson. They were there to witness my first professional win, and every time I get to come to Arizona and play they always make sure to come out and support. Their support has meant a lot.

It's just crazy to see from back in the day where I was to where I am now, how much I've grown. But it's wholesome to have the same people supporting me day in and day out?

Q. What's it like also to be a winner of an inaugural event? Ford and KCC stepping in here, what's that like to be the first?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I can't thank Ford enough for stepping up and supporting women's golf, and to be able to win in front of them was a lot of fun.

But any single time I get to lift a trophy it's just an amazing feeling.

Q. You talked about on 16 that you kind of changed your strategy on that hole today?


Q. At what point in time did you decide to layup? What club did you use to layup with? What distance did you have in? What club did you almost hole-out with?

NELLY KORDA: So we changed the -- again, I'm very, very present so I made the decision on the tee when it was my turn.

So the days before that I actually -- I hit it one day into the water with my driver, and I knew that I couldn't even get there with my driver because it was so into the wind and it was a lot colder today.

So I hit a 7-wood because with a 3-wood I would still be putting the left bunker into play. I hit a 7-wood and I had about 108 yards into the wind and I hit a controlled pitching wedge.

Q. And you mentioned earlier in this press conference the injuries you've gone through. How close is your current form of play to kind of almost what you imagined you could accomplish when you would get fully healthy again?

NELLY KORDA: I feel like every year I'm constantly working on my body so my body feels a little different. I would say the year of 2021 I definitely wasn't as strong as I am this year. Really prioritized in the seven weeks my fitness.

So it's easy to compare for sure, but I think that the golf that I'm playing right now, I mean, hopefully it leads me to the year that I had in 2021 or better.

But, yeah, just not really focusing too much on that, on the results. Just focusing on my process a lot.

Q. You feel like going through that journey and fighting your way back to the tour in 2022 has given you a bit more appreciation for the level you've been able to reach so far this year?

NELLY KORDA: Yeah, for sure. Appreciation. I've definitely grown and matured a lot as well. Some of the decisions that maybe Jay and I would make on the golf course being a little riskier we don't try to do in contention, or I would just say in general the appreciation for the life that I get to live out here, travel, play in front of fans, inspire the next generation, definitely appreciate that more.

Q. With this win, you already heard the number of historic things you accomplished. Are there any historic marks that you have your eye on going forward?

NELLY KORDA: No, not really. I'm just very in the moment.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you very much Nelly. Congrats.

NELLY KORDA: Thank you.

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