Different Strokes: Tearful sisterly love as Nelly Korda secures maiden LPGA win

Nelly’s breakthrough win has been anticipated ever since she followed in her sister Jessica’s footsteps

 Nelly Korda  after winning the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taoyuan city. Photograph:  EPA/RItchie Tongo

Nelly Korda after winning the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taoyuan city. Photograph: EPA/RItchie Tongo

 

Rather than any sibling rivalry in evidence, it was a real case of sisterly love as Nelly Korda’s maiden win on the LPGA Tour – in the aptly-named Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship – produced a tearful celebration from her sister Jessica, who demonstrated the increasing power of social media in such cases by sharing her emotions on the Instagram platform.

The elder Korda sister shared the moment with a series of video posts that involved mush sniffling and crying as the younger Korda went about joining her as a champion on the LPGA circuit, a show of emotion that left nobody in any doubt that Nelly’s breakthrough win didn’t bring any undercurrent of jealously.

This was all pure love – even if Jessica referred to it as “ugly” for the manner in which she allowed the tears to flow – and, although just 20 years of age, Nelly’s breakthrough win was one that has been anticipated ever since following in her 25-year-old sister’s footsteps on tour.

Jessica, with five career wins on the LPGA Tour, and Nelly could conceivably become the first American sisters to play in the Solheim Cup (emulating the feat of Swedish sisters Annika and Charlotta, who played in the 1998) when the biennial match takes place at Gleneagles, Scotland, next September.

That’s conjecture for another day for Nelly’s win in Taiwan only served to underscore her talent. Having emerged from the Symetra Tour in 2016, the younger Korda – part of a sporting family, with father Petr a former Australian Open tennis champion – has brought her own talents to the fairways, with Jessica her biggest supporter. On her tour debut in the Bahamas last year, Jessica (playing in the group behind) could be seen clapping and jumping in delight when her sister managed to birdie a hole!

Of her maiden win, Nelly remarked: “It’s definitely one of the best days of my entire life. I can finally check that off my list, winning an LPGA event. It’s something that I dream of ever since I started playing... I’ve been really motivated the entire year, and you know, I’ve just been really working towards this goal.”

Nelly and Jessica actually facetimed one another immediately after the win. “She’s been there every step of the way,” said Nelly of the support given to her by big sis. “She was probably crying more than me. But it’s a bond, like that you just can’t even think of. She’s definitely my best friend. She knows exactly what I’ve gone through this year. It hasn’t been a completely easy year for me with being sick and whatnot.”

Word of Mouth (I)

“This time last year I was in school; made it through Q-School, then the Web, graduated from there, and then obviously (in) my second start on the PGA Tour I won. It’s just been an amazing year” Cameron Champ on, literally, hitting the ground running following his win in the Sanderson Farm Championship

Word of Mouth (II)

“When you have dance moves like I do it’s a crime to hold them from the public. You have to let them out” Phil Mickelson on why he has brought his “dancing” into a number of television commercials in recent times

By the numbers: 11

Gavin Moynihan’s top-10 finish in the recent Valderrama Masters should at least send him into phase two of the PGA European Tour’s qualifying school with increased confidence. Moynihan is one of 11 Irish players competing in the penultimate stage at venues in Spain this week: Moynihan, Jonathan Caldwell, Luke Donnelly, Gary Hurley and Kevin Phelan are at Desert Springs; Robin Dawson, Neil O Briain and Cormac Sharvin are at Madrid; while Ruaidhri McGee and Cameron Raymond are competing at Las Colinas. Approximately 18 players from each venue will progress to the final stage where full tour cards will be up for grabs.

Twitter Twaddle

Great golf course and such pure greens for this time of the year! Really enjoyable! – Cormac Sharvin on preparing for his trip to stage two of the European Tour qualifying by getting in a round on the public links at Corballis.

Nice to be back @regnumcary @T_A_Golf Long flight from Shanghai but it’s worth it for this week’s hotel and course – Justin Rose eyeing back-to-back wins in the Turkish Airlines Open

Thank you @Sanderson_Champ for a great week in Jackson. Fantastic tournament and course. Now off to Vegas for the @ShrinersOPen #pgatour #FedCup – Séamus Power, who rebounded from a missed cut in the season-opening Safeway tournament with a top-20 finish in the Sanderson Championship. Power is on a four-week stint on the road and competes in this week’s PGA Tour stop at TPC Summerlin where Graeme McDowell is also in the field.

In the Bag

Xander Schauffele

HSBC Champions

Driver - TaylorMade M3 (10.5 degrees)

3-wood - Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (15 degrees)

5-wood - Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18 degrees)

Irons - (4-Pitching Wedge): Callaway Mack daddy 4

Sand Wedge - Titleist Vokey SM6 (57 degrees)

Lob Wedge - Tileist Vokey SM6 (61 degrees)

Putter - Odyssey O-Works Red #7 CH

Ball - Callaway Chrome Soft X

Know the Rules

Q: At a Par 3 hole, part of the green and the adjoining area cannot be seen from the tee. In this unseen area are a bunker, fairway and a dry water hazard. A player plays towards this obscured area and cannot tell where the ball comes to rest. When the players are near the green, they see a boy running away with a ball in his hand. The boy throws the ball back and the player identifies it as his. The player is unable to determine from where to play his next stroke under Rule 18-1. He does not know whether the ball was on the green, on the fairway or in one of the hazards. How should he proceed?

A: As it was impossible to know where the ball should have been replaced under Rule 18-1, the player should, in equity (Rule 1-4), drop the ball in an area which was neither the most, nor the least, favourable of the various areas where it was equally possible that the ball originally lay.

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