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Now-healthy Nelly Korda aims for second career major title

Sportsnaut
Jun 24, 2022; Bethesda, Maryland, USA; Nelly Korda plays her shot from the 18th tee during the second round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship golf tournament at Congressional Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

Nelly Korda won four titles in 2021 and figured there would be more to come this year.

But a health scare changed the complexion of the year for the world’s No. 3 player. She was diagnosed with a blood clot in mid-March and underwent surgery.

When she opens play Thursday in the Amundi Evian Championship in France, Korda will be on the course for just the fifth time since returning from a nearly four-month absence.

“I definitely had to reassess everything,” Korda said during a news conference for the major event on Wednesday. “I wasn’t even sure when I would come back, obviously, after everything that happened.

“I’m just happy I’m here. I played some solid golf and worked hard since I’ve been able to play. I go into every event wanting to contend, wanting to win. I know that a lot of girls have a lot more rounds under their belts, and I just appreciate every round that I have got to play this year.”

Korda has three top-10 finishes in the recent four events she played. She even tied for second at the Meijer LPGA Classic — another major — but fell short in a three-way playoff that included winner Jennifer Kupcho and Ireland’s Leona Maguire.

Korda, who turns 24 on July 28, returned to the LPGA Tour at a time when majors dot the schedule.

“I think I played like two regular events and two majors,” Korda said. “… Yeah, this is the fifth since coming back and it’s a major again.

“I appreciate it a lot more being here. After being out for so long, I feel like your appreciation for being able to travel and play golf grows a little bit more, so I guess in a sense refreshed yes and happy to be here.”

Korda has one major title on the resume. That came nearly 13 months ago when she won the Women’s PGA Championship at Atlanta by three strokes over Lizette Salas.

The goal this week is to claim major No. 2.

“I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t hungry to win another major,” Korda said. “Obviously that’s something I want to add to my list.”

But another target is equally important.

“To stay healthy,” Korda said. “That’s my No. 1 goal, to be happy, and, yeah, honestly, just to stay healthy. Keeping it simple this year.”

Korda is a seven-time winner on the LPGA Tour, and also won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo last August.

Korda’s older sister, Jessica, is ranked No. 14 in the world.

–Field Level Media