July 21, 2021
Evian Resort Golf Club
THE MODERATOR: Welcome back to the media center here. Nelly Korda, making her 13th start of the LPGA season, a Tour-leading three victories, including the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, where she moved to World No. 1.
Making your fourth appearance here at Evian, best finish in 2019 of T25. Welcome back to Evian. We missed this place last year. Inbee said she didn't realize how much she missed it until she got here. What's it like to be back here at Lake Geneva?
NELLY KORDA: It's so nice, especially this time of year. The atmosphere is amazing and the views are amazing and the weather. Nothing can beat this.
THE MODERATOR: What have the last couple days been like, getting in, getting transitioned over from the States where you played last week? It's never easy to cross borders, even more difficult now, but how are you feeling as you get ready for this next major?
NELLY KORDA: I feel honestly pretty good. I feel like the first day when you're overseas with the time change is very important, so I made sure to stay up past 9:00, which was really hard, but I did, and I slept through the night. I feel like once you get that first night in, it's a lot easier.
Q. I know you've been here since Monday, so had a couple days to see the golf course yesterday, the pro-am today. I know it's kind of wet but it's drying out pretty well. How does the golf course look right now?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I know they got a lot of rain last week. It is a lot softer than typically, what it usually plays like, but the rough is thick, so I think that's going to play a huge part, hitting fairways, and then the greens are always difficult.
I think it's still very difficult, but it's definitely a lot more wet than it has been.
Q. This is your first time coming to a major as world No. 1. Having a major already under your belt, how does that feel? Is it any added pressure? Does that change your game at all?
NELLY KORDA: I don't think it changes my game. It's definitely cool. It's a cool feeling. I'm very proud of it. But again, Jess kind of said it last week in an interview we did, she was like, yeah, everyone is now coming after her, so in a sense, I'm like, that's right. But it's a new week, and every week I go into a tournament with a new mindset. It doesn't matter the ranking.
Q. At Dow you and your caddie Jason got the caddie bib presentation. He gets the green bib again this week. Is that a fun thing to do now?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I think it's fun for him, too, and it's just a couple goals you get to check off, so it's nice.
Q. You two seem to have a great relationship. Tell us, how long has he been on your bag? I know he's been on your bag for a while, and how much does he help you with your game?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, we were actually talking about it today with our pro-am group, this is our fourth year working together. He's like everything. He's obviously caddie, he's like a big brother, psychologist sometimes, but also my biggest supporter, and he's always in my corner, and super grateful for him.
Q. Do you really rely on his vision out on the golf course? Are you someone who relies on a caddie for their help and expertise?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, we do a good bit of teamwork. On the greens not so much, but everything else he gets involved.
Q. I saw him out walking the course yesterday. I got a little tour out there to see what it was like and I know he was doing a lot of scouting. How does that help you and how do you feel like you've gotten to know the course better over the years that you've played here?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I mean, definitely. I feel like the more you play out here, the more you kind of learn about the bounces and where to hit it and whatnot, what part of the hole to be on on the greens. So I feel like we're constantly both learning.
Two years ago was my best finish, but I definitely -- a big goal is to contend in these tournaments, so just kind of trying to figure it out a little bit more each year helps.
Q. What is the toughest part of this course for you that you really have to focus on?
NELLY KORDA: You know, you can hit good shots and you get a really bad bounce and you're just in an impossible position. You can hit a bad shot and it trickles up there and you sink it for birdie. So it's more of just like a mental aspect and also just knowing where to miss.
Q. Going on to the Olympics and now you're here playing as No. 1, what difference does this make in overall attitude, preparation? Are you doing things differently? And are you going to prepare differently for the Olympics?
NELLY KORDA: With the ranking?
NELLY KORDA: No, not at all. At the end of the day you have the same game plan going into every week, and a ranking in a sense is a ranking and it's a huge accomplishment, but when it comes to game plans, I stick to the same thing every week despite my ranking. I could be 30th in the world or I could be whatever, I'm still going to go into every week with the same game plan.
Q. Is there a difference between the Olympics and the majors for you?
NELLY KORDA: I mean, they're all very big events. It doesn't matter if it's a small event or if it's a major. I'm going to go into every week with the same mindset and the same preparation because at the end of the day you go into any type of event wanting to win.
Q. Is there anything that you did during the COVID downtime that got you away from golf that was like a new hobby, a new activity, just because you weren't out on the golf course and you had extra time that you enjoyed?
NELLY KORDA: I actually -- honestly Florida was kind of functioning normally, so I actually played a lot of golf. I didn't really kind of step away from the game. I worked out. I just kind of stuck to a routine so I wouldn't go completely crazy.
Q. We had Inbee in here before, and we've heard from a lot of medal winners, especially Shanshan, how much winning a medal impacted the growth of the game in their country. What do you think an American winning a medal in Tokyo would do for the game of golf and maybe for you personally as Nelly Korda, the person, the personality?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it would be a huge accomplishment and be really special. I think we're at the point that even winning a major is growing the game. Playing just a regular tournament is growing a game, but there's nothing like the Olympics. It's every four years. It's a huge honor even to just be an Olympian, so I feel like anytime you're on that kind of stage and have a chance to grow the game of golf is really special.
Q. I know we've seen a lot of requests coming in for interviews with you and your sister. I saw you guys were featured on ESPN's Instagram and on instyle.com, all sorts of things. How cool is that to see you popping up in all these not-golf places?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, it's super special. Honestly the week of KPMG, I think I was more nervous for (indiscernible) than anything else, so I was really happy to see that she played well. We're both going to the Olympics together.
Honestly it's a huge honor, and we're just super excited and grateful for everything.
Q. I know it's not going to be maybe our normal week in Tokyo, but what are you most looking forward to during that week there? I know you're going to try to go over and see some of the men's competition perhaps.
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I think I'll get to see their final day, so I think that'll be really exciting because I don't remember the last time I've been to, in a sense, a men's event, but just the experience repping red, white and blue is going to be a lot of fun, and to call each other Olympians, only the females in the Korda household will be Olympians, so that'll be really cool.
Q. Has your family been able to spend a lot of time together since Sebby's run at Wimbledon? I know you've talked about your Drive On video that came out this week, but how dang athletic is your family? It's unfair.
NELLY KORDA: We're very sport oriented. I actually spent the week before Dow with my brother. I didn't see him for a couple months, so it was really nice to spend some time with him and my dad. Jess unfortunately, she was at Marathon competing, so she wasn't -- she was like, I have really bad FOMO right now. That's all we were getting in her text messages.
But it was really nice to see him, and he's playing well. He's putting in a lot of work, and it's just super exciting to see it pay off and to see him do what he loves.
Q. What's the key to the success in the family? I know you've learned a lot from your dad and certainly from your mom, but is it kind of a family way of working towards common athletic goals?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, honestly, I don't even know. I can't even answer the question in a sense because we had like a lot of structure obviously growing up, but like it didn't even like hit us that we're like doing something like this. It's like more of like this is our everyday kind of thing, like we're just going about our business, pushing each other, talking about sports, seeing how maybe we can do something better, be better people, be better athletes. We just like go about our business and kind of keep our heads down and just tread along, in a sense.
Q. Since the major win, since you've been No. 1 now, and Christina mentioned some of the magazines and things like that, what have been the demands like, and have you been having to use the word "no" quite a few times?
NELLY KORDA: I don't know, ask my agent that.
Q. So it's filtered?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, usually my dad and my agent handle that. But yeah, it's been exciting. It's been cool. It's just been really special, and sometimes I'm just -- I'm like, pinch me; is this even real?
Q. But is that something that maybe within the family dynamic can help because time can be demanding for you and you're in a bit of a busy spell right now?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I mean, are you saying like is it nice to just be around family?
Q. Well, not necessarily that, but it would be easy for you if you said yes to all your demands for your time to be sort of diverting away from what you need to be doing.
NELLY KORDA: I feel like we're constantly busy, like we're constantly on the go, and obviously last year with COVID it was really tough because we have such a busy schedule always, so it was nice to have structure.
But yeah, I mean, in a sense I'm kind of used to the busy schedule. When I'm home for a little, I'm like, okay, I'm ready to go on the road again.
Q. What are your thoughts on some of the French players here?
NELLY KORDA: Yeah, I know Celine. I played with her a couple weeks ago. She's a very solid player. She putts really well, which is going to be very important out here this week, and I think she got actually longer off the tee, which I noticed when I played with her last. Because it's soft, it's probably an advantage to the longer players because it won't roll out, but in all she's a really solid player, and I don't know what her past finishes have been out here, but I feel like she could do well out here.
Q. What would you say about the greens?
NELLY KORDA: I would say kind of funky, very difficult, a lot of ridges. I think that's the golf course's defense, in a sense, is like the greens, especially if they get firm and fast. They're very tricky.
Q. We had Inbee in here right before you, certainly the defending gold medal winner. What do you remember about the first time you watched Inbee up close playing golf? Do you remember when that was and just your thoughts on as a kid watching Inbee?
NELLY KORDA: I think the first memory that pops into my head is playing British Open with her. I played the first two rounds with her at Kingsbarns, and I was like, oh, my God, she looks at something and makes it. Like I want to be her. She's just a very solid player.
She's very nice. Not many people -- she doesn't really speak too much, but when she does, she's very welcoming and very nice, so that's kind of like the first thing I thought about.
Q. You've got a major win under your belt. What are your goals for the rest of the year?
NELLY KORDA: Well, I think my biggest goal was just to stay healthy this year, so if I can pull that off, that would be great.
As in the whole year, I don't know, probably just to contend in a couple more events, and I have a couple big events coming up. We have this week, then we have Olympics, another major and Solheim. As I said, to stay healthy and just to stay consistent.
Q. How are you planning to manage your time over this next month because this is a crazy stretch coming up, to keep yourself well mentally and physically?
NELLY KORDA: Well, I bought a gaming laptop, so I am gaming a little, just to try and keep my mind off of things. You kind of need a way to kind of escape a little sometimes, so I was like, hmm, may as well try it out. Other than that, just rest and take it easy. A lot of people put a lot of pressure on these weeks and they tire themselves out so much, especially mentally, and I think if you're tired mentally then -- which I've learned in the past, you're just dead, drained.
Q. What games are you playing?
NELLY KORDA: Right now Call of Duty, Modern Warfare. But when I was a kid I really liked the card games, so I may download one of those. Complete nerd coming out of me right now.
Q. We've got a great field. You're headlining a great field, but we have some names who skipped this to play the Olympics. What are your thoughts on that and why are you here to play this week?
NELLY KORDA: Each to their own when it comes to a schedule. I know a couple of top girls are missing this week just because it was a lot of travel, a lot of big events coming up. At the end of the day I think they're just thinking about how their bodies are going to be and not tiring themselves out. But I would never miss a major.
THE MODERATOR: We're glad to have you here. Thanks so much. We'll see you later this week.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports