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Korda ‘not thinking about’ three-peat | The Express Tribune

Korda ‘not thinking about’ three-peat | The Express Tribune

طوبیٰ Tooba 8 months ago 0 1

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MIAMI:

Reigning Olympic champion Nelly Korda will try to become the first player since 2015 to win an LPGA event in three consecutive years this week at The Annika tournament.

Sixth-ranked Korda captured the title the past two years at Pelican Golf Club at Belleair, Florida – barely an hour’s drive from her home in Bradenton.

“A lot of great memories,” Korda said. “And it’s close to home so feels nice to drive to a tournament.

“I grew up in this weather, grew up on this grass, so I have a sense of comfort and I like the layout. You still have to make putts and play well. That’s what I’m hoping for this week.”

The most recent LPGA player to win an event three consecutive times was South Korean Park In-bee at the 2013-15 Women’s PGA Championships.

“To three-peat, obviously there’s pressure that I want to perform, but I try not to think about it,” Korda said. “I try to stay in the present as much as possible, even with all the outside noise.”

The event was rebranded this year to be named for Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam, who won 72 LPGA titles, including 10 major crowns.

Sorenstam is the first player with her name on an LPGA event since Lorena Ochoa in 2017 and she also owns the LPGA record with five wins in a row at the same event – the 2001-2005 Mizuno Classics.

“Having her out here, just the presence of her, is really neat and cool,” Korda said. “I think it just brings a little extra to an amazing event. And it also honors the legends of our game that have done so much for the game.”

Korda missed much of the 2022 season with a blood clot in her right arm but won her first title after the setback last year at Pelican, returning to world number one by defending her title.

The 25-year-old American struggled with back pain in May and June this year but battled back and won a Ladies European Tour event in London in July.

Korda has started working with putting coach Eric Dietrich, changed putters and switched her grip from left-hand low to a more conventional style.

“I feel like after seven years I finally needed to do something with it. I’m grinding pretty hard on it,” Korda said of her putting.

“I just have a plan now, or I have tendencies that I know about that I can always go into a drill and work on those tendencies, where before I was kind of blind going to a putting green.”

“I haven’t been putting bad. I’ve been in contention a bunch this year. It’s just I want to improve and I just thought this was a necessary change to that.”

The field also includes France’s third-ranked Celine Boutier, a four-time LPGA winner this season and leader in the fight for the LPGA Player of the Year award, and her top rival for the honor, American Lilia Vu, plus world number one Yin Ruoning of China.



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