story in the making for Nelly Korda | LPGA

At just 23 years old, Nelly Korda is making history as the oldest American to hold the top spot in the Rolex rankings. Korda has now held the top spot for 29 weeks, overtaking Stacy Lewis, who held her for 21 weeks in 2014.

Korda’s career highlights include seven LPGA wins, including a major victory at the KPGM Women’s PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club in 2021. It was there that the American star rose to No. 1 in the world with his first major championship win. Competing at the highest level is second nature to the top golfer, who comes from a renowned sporting family with two former professional tennis players as parents, an older sister, Jessica, who has multiple LPGA victories under her belt, and a top-100 professional tennis player brother, Sebastian.

Korda’s professional career was launched in 2016 during the development of the Symetra Tour. Later that same year, she won the Sioux Falls Greatlife Challenge and finished ninth on the prize list, earning her LPGA Tour Card for 2017. She is the face of the “Road to the LPGA”, a shining example of what can be accomplished. after a year or two of growth and development within the ranks of Symetra.

Between 2017 and 2021, his career started its upward trend, marking a milestone every year. In 2017, she finished in the top 10 five times in her first year. In 2018, at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, she became a Rolex First-Time Winner. The year 2019 held his career record with 12 top-10 finishes and a US Solheim Cup team berth. In 2020, she tied her career-low 63 run in the second round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

His career skyrocketed in 2021 with four LPGA titles and his first major. She represented the United States at the Olympics, winning the coveted Olympic gold medal and for her recall was a key part of the United States Solheim Cup team. Her stellar resume in 2021 included 17 events with 16 cuts made and ten top 10 finishes, including victories at the Gainbridge LPGA, Meijer LPGA Classic and Pelican Women’s Championship. She is the first golfer, male or female, to win a major medal and a gold medal in the same year.

Korda joins a historic list of players including Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Yani Tseng and Inbee Park who have held the top spot in the Rolex World Rankings. Since the introduction of the Rolex Rankings in 2006, Korda is only the third American, and the first since Lewis, to hold the top spot. Currently, Jin Young Ko follows Korda in the rankings, followed by Lydia Jo and Inbee Park. Ko briefly knocked Korda out of the No. 1 spot last year, but Korda won it back in November by entering the Pelican Women’s Championship.

“Obviously, it’s a huge honour. I hope I inspire the next generation and only play a small part in the game of golf in the future,” Korda said last weekend at the Hilton Grand Vacation Tournament of Champions.

Making its grand debut in February 2006, the Rolex World Rankings carry significant weight in the world of golf. The ranking is based on tournament performance over a rolling two-year (104-week) schedule, with players earning ranking points based on their result in a Rolex-sanctioned event. The Rolex Ranking System highlights the global impact of women’s golf as it encompasses eight distinct women’s golf tours. Rolex has been a key partner of the LPGA since the rankings were introduced.

Despite last weekend’s freezing downpour at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, Korda warmed up the Lake Nona course for three days and held a one-shot lead after 54 holes. While she closed with a disappointing 75 and a fourth-place finish, Korda managed to secure her 11th straight round in the 60s, falling just short of Annika Sorenstam’s record of 14 straight rounds in the 60s. still, she narrowly maintained her No. 1 Rolex ranking by 1/10 of a percentage point over Jin Young Ko. After finishing under 10, Korda focused on the positive, saying, “It’s my first round this year, or my first tournament this year and I finished in the Top 5, so at least I can take that away.”

Korda has two more Florida tournaments coming up, followed by a scheduled 6-week break from tournament golf. As for his goals in 2022, Korda recognizes that each tournament is a building block towards his bigger goal of winning major championships:

“I mean, there’s always so much you can research. There are different small goals and then big goals. But I tend to be the kind of person who likes to set small goals that eventually feed into my big goals. There’s still four majors I haven’t won and so many things I’d like to accomplish in my career, so it’s pretty easy in a sense to set goals,” Korda said.

Korda will compete in the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio Golf Club, Jan. 27-30.

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