Nelly Korda’s skills are all PGA Tour pros want to talk about
Tiger and Charlie Woods may be the headliners at this week’s PNC Championship, but that’s just because of the rabid Woods fans who haven’t seen their king in action for months. And then there’s also all of his dad’s fans, too.
But simmering beneath all that Woods hoopla is a separate line of attention for another team at the PNC Championship. It’s not the Dalys, who won last year, nor is it the Thomases, who are bound to play with the Woods family. It’s Team Korda, as in Nelly Korda and her father, Petr.
This time of year is filled with slightly different events, the PNC being chief among them as a parent-child affair. Combined with last week’s QBE Shootout, where pros teamed up with other pros, even some LPGA pros, and we’ve seen a trend manifest the last few days: PGA Tour pros keep fawning over Nelly Korda’s skills.
The World No. 2 player teamed up with Denny McCarthy last week and didn’t just catch the eye of two Presidents Cup teammates, she had their attention all day.
“We talked about it all day,” Max Homa said when asked about Korda’s game.
Kevin Kisner: We talked about it all day. I think I called her the Tiger Woods of the LPGA Tour at one point. And then through about seven or eight holes I said she’s hit every shot just like she wants to for eight holes. Like does she hit a bad shot? I have no idea, I’ve never seen her hit a bad shot. We were laughing all day.
Homa: It was a little bit outrageous.
Kisner: She drove it down the middle.
Homa: She drove it down the middle on every hole, she almost hit the pin three times, hit it to like two inches on one par-4, then from way too far that next one, she almost hit the pin.
Kisner: Hooped a 20-footer.
Homa: And chipped it great, so I don’t know how she does not win every week. It’s a testament to these other ladies that anyone can even sniff beating her because that was wildly impressive.
Kisner: I asked her out there if she wins every tournament.
Homa: She said no.
Kisner: She said no. I’m like, I don’t believe you.
While Korda is humbly telling the truth, she was able to bounce back from a health scare this spring with a couple victories in the late summer and early fall. But if Homa and Kisner gushing over her entire skillset wasn’t enough, the Korda adulation has continued this week at the PNC. Padriag Harrington was asked Thursday about the energy of the event and the ultimate swing-studier brought up Korda as the player he most wants to watch.
“Let’s face it,” Harrington said, “I don’t get to see Nelly Korda play in person. I might see it on the TV, but, you know, somebody like Nelly, this is a good week for me to go, I want to see where she’s hitting it, how she’s hitting it.
“As I walk down the range, Nelly Korda is the one I’m going to look at … I’ve seen enough of Jordan and JT. I don’t care what they’re doing.”
Not to be taken as an affront to Spieth or Thomas, Harrington is keen to watch Nelly play this week. So is Spieth, himself, who is playing the PNC for the first time. The Spieths will be paired up with the Kordas on Saturday, and both Spieths have set Nelly-esque goals to aim for this week. When asked about their plans off the tee, Shawn Spieth jumped in and asked for Jordan to “try and keep it somewhere within where Nelly hits it.”
It’s a good goal.
“It’s like playing with Adam Scott,” Jordan said. “She swings it so sweet. It will be nice to watch that tempo and hopefully Dad will watch that tempo and take that tempo. Swing like Nelly, that’s going to be your goal on Saturday.”
Hopefully you will watch that tempo and take that tempo, too. Swing like Nelly, folks. Or at least try your best to. She makes it look a lot easier than it really is.