Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Nelly Korda attempts record sixth consecutive LPGA victory at 2024 Cognizant Founders Cup

The 2024 Chevron Championship felt like a denouement for Nelly Korda. Just a couple weeks ago, Korda captured her second major championship and won her fifth tournament in a row, tying her with Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) and Nancy Lopez (1978), who accomplished the same feat. Except, maybe it was no denouement at all. Maybe it was just the beginning.

Korda attempts a record sixth consecutive victory this week at the 2024 Cognizant Founders Cup in New Jersey. It will be her first time teeing it up since winning that Chevron Championship, and she’ll arrive fresh off an appearance (unusual in the world of golf) at the Met Gala.

She spoke a lot about that moment on Wednesday in her press conference, calling it the fulfillment of a dream.

A year ago at this event, Korda missed the cut as Jin Young Ko beat Minjee Lee in a playoff after they both finished at 13 under. A year later, and Korda has not lost to a single golfer since the NFL Playoffs (yes, the 2023-24 NFL Playoffs) started back in January. The key? Simple golf.

“Obviously, when I’m home, I’m definitely practicing a lot more and trying to work on technique,” Korda said. “When I’m out here, the way I keep it simple is by not overdoing it too much: going out, seeing the golf course, doing my work with my caddie, picking a game plan, and then that’s it.

“I think I’ve got, in the past, too caught up in coming out here and thinking I need to do a little extra when I’ve already done my work going into this event, and it’s time to just see my shots and execute them. That’s how I’ve tried to simplify it.”

Date Event Finish Money
Jan. 25-28

LPGA Drive on Championship

1

$262,500

Mar. 21-24

Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship

1

$300,000

Mar. 28-31

Ford Championship

1

$337,500

April 3-7

T-Mobile Match Play

1

$300,000

April 18-21

Chevron Championship (major)

1

$1,200,000

How long can this continue?

“Well, that old saying, ‘It’s when you least expect it,'” said Pat Bradley at the Cognizant Founders Cup earlier this week. Bradley won 31 times on the LPGA Tour in her career. “Nelly is not coming in here when you least expect it. All eyes are on her. It’s going to be tough. It is going to be a challenge for Nelly.”

It could benefit Korda — who said she mostly caught up on sleep and relaxed over the last few weeks — that she is now away from the added pressure and spotlight of the year’s first major.

“I’m sure she can’t wait for the bell to ring and get inside those ropes and be able to focus like she does,” added Bradley. “But right now, it’s going to be interesting.

“To see her at the Met Gala, I mean, that was exquisite. She was absolutely beautiful, and it was just — I was just so proud to see this young lady amongst all these celebs, and she pulled it off just fabulous, like she is. She’s just a very talented, wonderful young lady. What a role model that we have to take our game forward.”

In her bid for a sixth consecutive victory on the LPGA Tour, Sorenstam finished T12 at the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill. She then won three of her next four. Lopez got walloped in her bid for a fifth, which came in her rookie year in 1978. She lost big to none other than Bradley but said the experience was a great one.

“It was fun for me. I liked the pressure, and I liked the attention at a young age,” Lopez told Golf Digest. “I did a lot of press conferences and played a lot of golf, probably when I didn’t want to. I was tired, but it was just really fun.”

Korda did not seem to be having much fun down the stretch at the Chevron Championship, so perhaps this week will be a bit lighter. Then again, if she takes it to Saturday or Sunday and is at or near the lead, the pressure will be enormous, and she will once again simply try to get across the finish line.

Thankfully for her, she’s been pretty good at that of late.

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