After appearing on red carpet at the Met Gala, Nelly Korda goes for sixth straight win at Cognizant

CLIFTON, N.J. (AP) — Things are going well for Nelly Korda these days, that’s for sure.

The 25-year-old has won a record-tying five straight tournaments. She has the No. 1 ranking in the world, along with the 2024 lead in earnings, scoring average and points for the player of the year award. And on top of it all, she got to live out a childhood dream by walking the red carpet at the Met Gala earlier this week.

Korda will try to become the first woman to win six consecutive LPGA starts when play in the 72-hole Cognizant Founders Cup gets underway Thursday at the Upper Montclair Country Club.

“If I’m being honest, I have not thought about it at all because I’ve had so much going on those two weeks,” said Korda, who has not played since winning The Chevron Championship in Texas. “Then obviously yesterday — or Monday — I had the Met, so haven’t had too much time to think about it.”

In winning her second career major two weeks ago, Korda tied Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) and Nancy Lopez (1978) for most consecutive tournament wins. Byron Nelson holds golf’s all-time mark with 11 straight wins in 1945.

The usually reserved Korda insisted she is not thinking that far ahead, noting that can lead to a deep rabbit hole.

While she has been off the past two weeks, Korda said she never got far away from her game, despite catching up on sleep and spending a lot of time on the couch.

“There is two sides to it,” she said. “Obviously when I’m home, I’m definitely practicing a lot more and trying to work on technique. 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.”

In the past, Korda said she would come to events and do too much. Now she knows she has put in the work beforehand, and it’s just time to execute when an event starts.

The winning streak had an unexpected benefit this week when Korda got an invitation to the Met Gala.

“It was so, so crazy,” she said. “You’re standing in line ready to get on the carpet and you’re like seeing all these people you usually watch in TV shows or movies and they’re like famous singers and you’re starstruck the entire time. It’s the best people-watching for me. I was just silently looking at everyone’s dresses.”

Korda was given a number of Oscar de la Renta dresses to try on, and seemingly settled on long-sleeve gown.

Twenty minutes before walking on the carpet, she had a golf moment, like when the breeze picks up before a shot to the green. The 9-iron became a pitching wedge.

“I saw this amazing red dress and I just changed my entire look probably 20 minutes before I started to get ready,” Korda said. “Switched it up on everyone. It’s just, I mean, this is me. This is me, visor on, wearing golf clothes. This is my comfort zone. It was really, really neat to step outside of my comfort zone and do something like that.”

It was neat though, and like everything Korda has done on the golf course, it was a perfect choice.

“I thought I would never ever think that I would ever be able to attend the Met Gala,” Korda said. “As a girl I watched it growing up and just in awe of all the dresses. To be on the red carpet or green carpet was a dream come true.”

Korda has not fared well playing in New Jersey. She missed the cut in this event and the Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol in 2023. The Florida resident will be paired for the first two rounds with defending champion Jin Young Ko of South Korea and 2022 champion Minjee Lee of Australia. Lee lost in a playoff with Ko last year.

Hall of Famers Pat Bradley and Beth Daniel, who are here for the event that honors the 13 founding members of the LPGA Tour, feel the pressure is on Korda.

“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,” Bradley said.

“I watched when she won the fifth in a row and she said that was the most nervous she’s been down the stretch,” Daniel said. “I can only imagine how nerve-wracking this week is going to be.”


AP golf:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notice: ob_end_flush(): Failed to send buffer of zlib output compression (0) in /home2/arjunka2/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5427