June 19, 2024
Nelly Korda 'glad to have joined' former pro tennis player dad as major champion after Women's PGA Championship victory

Nelly Korda ‘glad to have joined’ former pro tennis player dad as major champion after Women’s PGA Championship victory

Parents Petr Korda and Regina Rajchrtov√° are former professional tennis players. Nelly and sister Jessica are professional golfers while youngest sibling Sebastien is also a pro tennis player.

Until Sunday though, Nelly’s dad was the only one to have won a major title having won the Australian Open in 1998.

But Nelly finally joined her dad as she won the first major of her career when she finished three shots ahead of Lizette Salas to claim the Women’s PGA Championship.

Nelly says the experience of having two former professional athletes as parents has been invaluable to her career.

“They’re always there when we’re down and that’s a lot in sports,” the 22-year-old told CNN Sport’s Patrick Snell.

“It’s a roller coaster constantly and thankfully, they’ve been through it so they help us so much with that mental aspect of it. But it’s crazy and to finally join my dad as a major champion is super nice so now he can’t be the leader at dinner with that little thing of his.”

She also paid tribute to her older sister, Jessica, who finished tied for 15th at four under.

“I wouldn’t be here without Jess. Not many people know how much she has done, but she’s always there for me and she’s the best travel buddy too, honestly, and I can’t thank her enough and she is a huge part of why I’m here today.”

Nelly Korda reacts to her putt on the 18th green as she celebrates winning the Women's PGA Championship golf tournament.

A first

Korda’s previous best at one of golf’s majors came last year when she finished second at the ANA Inspiration.

But she arrived at Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands Course in Johns Creek, Georgia, for the Women’s PGA Championship in excellent form on the back of her second LPGA Tour win this year at the Meijer LPGA Classic.

Coming into the final day on Sunday, she was tied with compatriot Lizette Salas atop the leaderboard.

However, Korda put in a strong display on the final 18 holes, hitting two eagles in a four-under round of 68 to finish 19-under for the tournament. The victory also meant she became world No. 1.

“Honestly, (it’s) so special. It hasn’t even sunk in. Hopefully it’ll sink in the next couple of days, but a dream come true.”

Nelly Korda is now the women's world No. 1.

Salas could only card a 71 to finish three shots behind Korda, who paid her respects to her compatriot afterwards, calling her “amazing,” after she opened up about her mental health battle following the first round.

“She put up a great fight this weekend,” Korda explained. “Hopefully we have a lot more battles, but she’s had a couple of heartbreaks on Sundays and majors and she always has the greatest attitude and she’s a fighter and it’s a good mindset to have.

“And some days it’s easier than others. But I think if you go into every tournament, every round with that attitude, it just makes life so much better.”