Nelly Korda: Top facts you might not know about the LPGA's newest star

22-year-old Nelly Korda won her first golf major at the Women’s PGA Championship, find out all about her here.

By Olympic Channel
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Nelly Korda stepped into the global golf spotlight on 27 June 2021 when she won her first major at The Highlands Course in Atlanta, finishing 19 under overall.

Korda took the win over USA teammate Lizette Salas, the victory taking her to No.1 in the Women's LPGA rankings.

22 years old, Korda now looks Olympics-bound after she carded a four-under-par 68 to record an -19 269 at Atlanta Athletic Club with Salas on 272 after a final round of 71.

"This is something I have worked for since I was fourteen," an emotional Korda said afterwards, "since I played in my first one I wanted to be a major champion and to finally get it done here in Atlanta with such an amazing crowd, honestly, it's really special."

South Korea's Kim Hyo-joo and Italy's Giulia Molinaro shared third on 278 with Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit and another U.S. golfer Danielle Kang even in fifth on 280.

There was some spectacular golf from the winner Korda, the most exciting moment when she came so close to an Albatross on the fifth, hitting a 7-wood 243 yards to within less than half a metre of the hole.

She tapped in for an eagle and was five shots ahead coming down the final strait until hitting into the water and a double bogey on the 15th gave Salas some hope.

But Korda showed poise and maturity beyond her years, three final pars sealed the deal and it was time to celebrate.

Her older sister Jessica was first to congratulate her on the 18th green, saying "I'm so proud of you" through a flood of tears.

Asked how she managed to pull this off in one of the most stacked fields of the season, Nelly answered:

"Honestly I have no idea! I just played really well this week, I had a great week last week and just carried the momentum into this week."

She claimed her second title of the year last week at the Meijer LPGA Classic and with her maiden major this week, it was all a little too much to process. "I think I'm blacking out a little," she said.

"I mean, I've put in a lot of work, to get three wins under belt and a major championship is... I don't even have words honestly..."

The win means that we may see Nelly, her sister Jessica, and her brother Sebastian at the Tokyo Olympics.

Want to find out more? Here are five things you might not know about Nelly Korda:

Nelly Korda's Famous Family

Born 28th July 1998 in Bradenton, California, sport was always going to be a big part of Nelly's life.

Her father is 1998 Australian Open-winner Petr Korda and her mother Regina Korda (neé Rajchrtova) is a former tennis world number 26.

Both represented Czechoslovakia, mom at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

Their son Sebastian Korda followed mom and dad into tennis, he's now at a career-high ATP singles ranking of No. 50.

But Nelly chose the path her older sister Jessica Korda took in golf, their parents encouraging all their kids to try different sports.

Jessica is a multiple LPGA Tour winner and we could see this sister act playing for Olympic gold in Tokyo with both in the top four U.S. golfers in the IGF Olympic rankings.

Nelly Korda poses with the trophy and her caddie Jason McDede, sister Jessica Korda, mom Regina Rajchrtova, boyfriend Andreas Athanasiou on the 18th green at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

2. Early starter, sports fanatic

Nelly Korda found her path early, already playing golf seriously at just six years old, hitting and practising three or four times a week.

She also played - and continues to play - tennis as a hobby, watches it too, that and ice hockey, her team is the LA Kings (For a good reason!).

She'll watch sport anywhere, even when a giant poodle wants to sit on her lap.

3. Sibling rivalry? Nah

In such a competitive household, being on tour and in direct competition must mean the sisters hardly talk right?

Nope.

They are supportive and caring and have a great relationship. That was obvious on the 18th green in Atlanta when Jessica gave Nelly a huge hug with the tears flowing, "I'm so proud of you," big sis said.

“People like to put us against each other all the time to see if they can spark a rivalry or something. But we just keep disappointing everybody,” Jessica shared with Golf Digest.

“We have little side bets here and there,” Nelly confessed before adding, “at the end of the day, we want the best for each other, even though we want to beat each other as well.”

In fact Nelly, Jessica and Sebastian have a Whatsapp group called ‘The Trio’ that they encourage each other and share a few laughs on.

4. Nelly Korda golf prodigy

Korda's rise to the top of women's golf came eye-wateringly fast.

A month before her 15th birthday she qualified for the U.S Women's Open in 2013, was a 2015 AJGA Junior All-American and then won the 2015 Harder Hall Women's Invitational as a 17-year-old.

2019 was a big year with 12 top 10 finishes in 20 starts including two big wins.

Korda also made her debut at the 2019 Solheim Cup, recording three wins and one draw - exactly the same as her sister.

5. Nelly Korda's NHL boyfriend

Korda can't even keep sport out of her private life!

She is dating Canadian NHL player Andreas Athanasiou of the Los Angeles Kings, and their relationship is very visible on social media.

Now with that first major under her belt, you feel there are many more to come, from her and the rest of the family.

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