Happy and healthy, Nelly Korda has won three straight LPGA starts and is playing the best golf of her career.

April 1, 2024

This is the lively Nelly Korda. He shot a bogey-free 65 on Sunday, winning the Ford Championship at 20 under par, earning him his third consecutive LPGA title and becoming No. 1 in the world rankings. The run includes a seven-week break between wins at the LPGA Drive-On Championship in January and last week’s Far Hills Seripak Championship.

Her 11th career Korda title added her name to the list of the greatest LPGA players of all time. The 25-year-old became the first American to win three consecutive tournaments since Nancy Lopez in 1978. She is the first American to win three consecutive tournaments before April since Joan Kerner in 1980. And Korda started just four games this year, his first fully healthy season since 2021.
“Scoring three goals in a row is like a dream,” Korda said.

But in 2021, when Korda was healthy, she had the upper hand. The Bradenton, Fla., native won four times that year, including the Women’s PGA Championship and Olympic gold. Korda explained that while she is healthy in 2021 and 2024, there are two differences between now and three years ago. Both her body has gotten stronger and her mental approach has refined. She explained that while Korda was on vacation for seven weeks, she prioritized fitness this year and made her body stronger than in the past.

Korda also believes he brings a more mature approach to the game.
“Some of the decisions that Jay (McDead, his caddy) and I might make on the golf course are a little bit risky, and we’re not trying to make them during competition.” Korda said. This wisdom was evident while playing at Seville Golf and Country Club in Gilbert, Arizona. Korda started Sunday two places behind the leader on a crowded leaderboard and was three groups ahead of him.

At the start of the final round, 15 players were within striking distance of first place. Korda made his fourth birdie of the day and took the lead at No. 13 with a total of 18 under par. In 15th place, Lexi Thompson and newcomer Hira Naveed made birdies to catch Korda and tie the score.
As a result of the three-way draw, Korda did what she called “the Nelly thing” at the end, and although she was distraught at the end, she ended up walking away victorious.

Instead, his opponent hesitated while Korda moved forward with confidence. She decided to hit a 7-wood on the 300-yard par-4 16th hole. Earlier this week, she collided with a driver and ended up in the water.
Korda hit the middle of the fairway and went 108 yards, narrowly missing his wind-controlled wedge. She jumped into the hole to regain an absolute lead that she would never relinquish.
Thompson, looking for his first LPGA victory since the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic, fell into the water on the 16th hole and ended up with a bogey. On the 17th hole, he missed par by 3 feet, losing by 2 feet.

The 11-time LPGA champion finished third in five rounds, her best finish since finishing second at the 2022 Pelican Women’s Championship, where she lost to Korda. “There’s a lot to take away from this week, especially heading into a major tournament,” Thompson said. “But we have two weeks and we know what we have to work on.”

Navid needed a birdie on the par-5 18th, but he couldn’t get one despite coming two shots closer to the green. The Pepperdine graduate cut through the field and won with a final round 66 to finish second in his second LPGA start.
“She’s a great player,” Navid said of Korda. “It’s a real honor to share the stage with her.”

On the 18th, Korda ordered her a break, watching from the clubhouse on a cold and rainy day and drinking soup to warm her body.
Her title win is another step towards a career year for a healthy Korda. “Of course it’s easy to compare, but I hope the golf I’m playing now will take me into 2021 and beyond,” Korda said.