HOUSTON – Nelly Korda did something “stupid” (her word) on the 13th hole of the first round at Aronimink Golf Club. She tried to crack her back, and it went into spasm. Korda said she doesn’t normally crack her back, but it was cold outside in the opening round of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and she could feel it tightening up.
“I just made a little oopsie,” said Nelly, “which turned into a little bit longer of an oopsie.”
She withdrew from the October major and hasn’t been seen since – until this week at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she’s taking things “step by step.” She started practicing about a dozen days ago. Played 18 on Monday for the first time since the opening round of the Women’s PGA.
Both the Cypress and Jackrabbit courses are in use this week at Champions Golf Club as both tracks are needed to get 156 players around with limited daylight. On Tuesday, Korda played the front nine on the Jackrabbit course and chipped and putted on the back nine.
Asked if she feels a little anxious going into a major with so little preparation, the 22-year-old said, “A little, yeah. I mean, you kind of don’t know what’s going to happen. I mean, your feel is not 100 percent there. Like yesterday when I was putting, I was hitting them like 10 feet by.”
Korda, now No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings, is on the short list of best players without a major, joined by the likes of Minjee Lee and Nasa Hataoka. She lost in a playoff earlier this year to Mirim Lee at the ANA Inspiration and took a share of third last year at the KPMG at Hazeltine. Her best finish at a USWO, a share of 10th, came in 2018.
Korda, who played practice rounds with older sister Jessica this week, was 14 years old when she debuted at the USWO with her dad on the bag. Petr Korda will be here this week too, walking outside the ropes. Nelly tied for 64th in 2013 at Sebonack in her dream week.
“That’s kind of where I decided this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” she said.
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/08/us-womens-open-nelly-korda-returns-back-injury/