Nelly Korda, the new American golf phenomenon between Tiger Woods and Caitlin Clark?

April 18, 2024

Both men’s and women’s sports are always on the lookout for new stars to help stir up interest and and attract new fans.

Tiger Woods left-handed shot at the Masters gets him out of a difficult situation

Something similar is happening with Nelly Korda in golf, as she is gaining attention in the sport and is aiming for something more.

The 25-year-old American is the favorite to win the Chevron Championship – formerly ANA Inspiration – the first major of the year in women’s golf, which starts this Thursday at The Woodlands (Texas), the tournament’s home since last year.

Korda’s absolute dominance in the LPGA Tour – she has four victories in her last four tournaments – goes back to the times of Annika Sorenstam and undoubtedly makes her the center of attention this week.

The Korda phenomenon has taken hold in the sport and if the daughter of Czech tennis player Petr Korda were to go into Sunday’s final round with a chance of victory, it is more than likely that the tournament’s ratings would rival or surpass those of the RBC Heritage, this week’s PGA Tour event.

The world number one is looking to win her fifth consecutive title in a major. Only Nancy Lopez (1978) and the aforementioned Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) have reached five consecutive victories, although the background to all this it how it would help women’s golf, whose broadcasting is secondary on U.S. television in favor of men’s golf.

Interestingly, the ratings for Clark’s match were well ahead of those of the Augusta Masters, something the media shared with Korda in the press room, and she made a vindication for women’s sport: “We need to be on television”.

Regarding her current form, she admitted: “Obviously with the streak I’ve had, maybe there are more eyes on me, and I’m always very grateful because I know how fast this can go.”

Are we looking at the ‘unicorn’ that golf hasn’t seen since Tiger Woods? According to Lydia Ko, in her 11 years on the LPGA she had not seen anything like this and joked: “The rest of us are playing for second place”.

Something is certainly changing in women’s golf. The Chevron prize purse this year has increased from $5.2 million to $7.9 million, and the winner earned $1.2 million.