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January 26, 2014

Jessica Korda


THE MODERATOR:  We'd like to welcome in the 2014 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA champion Jessica Korda.  Congratulations.  What is it about season‑opening events that just seem to bring out the best in your golf game?  You won the 2012 ISPS Handa Australian Women's Open two years ago, now today this season‑opening event.
JESSICA KORDA:  It's unbelievable.  I don't know, maybe I pay attention more to detail, and I'm more relaxed out here.  I don't know, but whatever it is I need to figure it out and do it more often.
THE MODERATOR:  Take us through the day, birdieing three of the last four holes, including back‑to‑back birdies on 17 and 18 to capture the win.  What was your mindset and how were you able to make so many birdies out there today?
JESSICA KORDA:  I honestly have no idea.  I was rolling the ball same as I was yesterday, and I was actually making putts today, which is really nice.  On 16 I had a 34‑yard putt from literally one side of the green to the other, Paula putted first to like two feet.  I just looked at her, like can you come putt mine now, please.  And I think that was really key to make par there.
And then I hit a good iron shot on 17.  I saw Stacy was still 18‑under, and I was like, all right, I have a chance here.  So all I was thinking was just picking my lines and just concentrating on my lines.  I wasn't thinking about needing to make a birdie, needing to make a birdie.  I think that really helped.
And 18, wow, I mean, I hit a 4‑iron, 200 front, and I ended up on the back of the green.  I didn't really know where that came from.
And then trying to figure out where to drop or not to drop and picking up wires.  It's kind of a nice distraction to be honest.  It completely made me laugh, and I wasn't really thinking about what I needed to do.  It was actually a really nice distraction.
THE MODERATOR:  Have you ever had a situation like that when you've needed people to hold up wires for you to putt?
JESSICA KORDA:  No, it was like double‑dutch.  I was jumping over wires with people holding onto them.  It was really funny.

Q.  How do you go from Saturday where you're obviously fighting your swing, you put the ball in the hazard, shanked one sideways, to the trophy winner?
JESSICA KORDA:  I didn't let it get to me.  You know, I hooked a bunch into the water this week, hooked a bunch just in general.  But it's just another shot.  You kind of have to forget about it and move on.  I might have shanked a shot yesterday, but I birdied the next hole right back.  I definitely wasn't looking back.  I just kept looking forward.

Q.  On 18 today, how difficult was the choice to putt or chip?
JESSICA KORDA:  It wasn't difficult at all.  Playing with Jack Nicklaus, actually I had the pleasure of playing with him in 2012 actually, beginning of the season, before I left for Australia.  He always told me, a bad putt is still better than a bad chip.

Q.  Where did you play with Jack?
JESSICA KORDA:  I played with him at the Bear's Club two years ago.

Q.  You've talked so much about your swing changes and what you've been doing.  How much were you able to kind of put those out of your mind this week and really find that golf swing, especially today, and be able to kind of put together the round that you did?
JESSICA KORDA:  You know, I was really trying to keep everything behind the ball, so if I was working on something, whatever kind of trigger I had, I had behind the ball, and then I went on it on the range after every single day.  I talked to my coach last night, and I was telling him that my swing felt a little off.  He goes, yeah, you were going back to your swing ever since the 7th hole.  I said, yeah, that explains a lot.  All my bad shots came after the 7th hole.  So I went back to the range and worked on it there and kind of just forgot about what I had to do and was really concentrating on my targets after basically I got to the golf ball.

Q.  What was your other option for a drop at 18?  Talk about the decision you made.
JESSICA KORDA:  Well, we came about it both ways.  The thing about it was I was in the corner, so I had to go further in each direction because any way I went I would still be going closer to the hole.  So then I just asked if I could just play it where it is and play it up there because I wouldn't be hitting the backs of the stand anyway.  I felt like I had a good lie there rather than going to the rough and then having uphill‑downhill type chip.  It just looked too difficult from each side, so I just stayed where I was.

Q.  Could you tell us what having Grant out here means to you?
JESSICA KORDA:  Grant means so much to me.  He's so positive, and that's really kind of shown‑‑ it's given me a lot of confidence this week.  His positivity, and he's like, you're going to be ready for this week, you're going to be ready for this week, regardless of how I was hitting it on the range, and I was not hitting it good.  I started hitting woods a week before I came here, so I really wasn't that confident in myself.  But him being on the range and constantly kind of encouraging the positive in me, into my mind, it helped me so much.  My boyfriend Johnny, we were out practicing every single day, and he pushed me to hit shots that I'm not comfortable with and do things that I usually be working on, too.

Q.  I'm sure you were aware of his condition when you asked him.  Were you hesitant at all to ask him to help?
JESSICA KORDA:  I've known Grant since I was 15 years old, so I mean, I know how it is and what's going on.  But first thing I did, and I asked him, I was like, can you help me, and if you can't, it's completely okay.  Like if you don't feel up to it, then it's fine.  Like I don't mind.  But I need to know if you're going to be okay first.  And that's how every practice started.  It wasn't, oh, am I feeling okay.  I asked how you were feeling, how long do you think you can stay, and let's make the most of what we have and kind of move forward with that.  Like I said, just his positivity and being able to laugh on the golf course.  I'll hit a bad shot, and even when I did hit a bad shot, he'd be like, come here and talk to me, what are you thinking about, and not having it bottled up inside just helps a lot.

Q.  Are you happy with who you're working with right now?
JESSICA KORDA:  He's a golf coach at IMG Golf Academy.  He's on leave because obviously he's had some surgery done.  Like I said, he's basically just coming out, sitting on the golf cart and enjoying the nice Florida weather we've been having.
THE MODERATOR:  Overall the second victory, was it harder than the first one?
JESSICA KORDA:  For sure.  I mean, it's either‑or.  It was definitely harder in some aspects, but in some ways it was actually a little bit easier.  I was nervous on 18, but I remembered that when I was nervous in the playoff, I had to keep moving.  Like don't stop moving.  Being able to breathe through each shot and keeping myself just really, just clear in my head of any kind of thoughts.  I didn't really look at what was going on in front of me.
I just kept it really simple, and Kyle and I were joking around, too, so that really helped.
THE MODERATOR:  With this victory you are the first winner of 500 points toward the Race to the CME Globe.  You'll have the million dollar prize that's sitting there at the end.  Have you let yourself think what it would be like to win this race, and what does this do for propelling you in the season‑long points race?
JESSICA KORDA:  We have, what, 31 events left?
THE MODERATOR:  That's okay, long way to go.
JESSICA KORDA:  Yeah, we have a really long way to go.  We're in January, and that's usually in November.  You know, winning the first tournament of the season is great.  I am incredibly humbled, and I'm going to carry this for a very long time.  Being able to win a million dollars at the end of the year is going to be‑‑ I mean, it's something that we all are going to strive for.  It's not in the back of my mind just yet, but I think I'm headed in the right direction.

Q.  How was your shaving cream?
JESSICA KORDA:  I smell really good.  It smells really good.  I definitely remember everybody to go get some Pure Silk shaving cream, the raspberry flavor.

Q.  What was the club in at 18?
JESSICA KORDA:  I had 213 on the line, but 200 kind of front, it was a little bit downwind, I hit 4‑iron, and I thought I was just going to hit the front of the green and let it trickle up like I have been every day, and I didn't see my golf ball anywhere.  I didn't realize that it was all the way back by the grandstand.

Q.  How long was your birdie on 17?
JESSICA KORDA:  12 feet uphill right to left.

Q.  What did you hit in there?
JESSICA KORDA:  A thinned 6.

Q.  How about 16?
JESSICA KORDA:  I was in the trees left, so all I had basically was 9‑iron to the right side of the green, and take that 32‑yard putt I had.
THE MODERATOR:  Congratulations again, winner at the start of the 2014 season.  Hopefully many more to come.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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