Brennan: Jessica and Nelly Korda have each other to lean on for Olympic women's golf tournament

Without their parents, friends or spectators, the Korda sisters, Jessica and Nelly, arrived at the Olympic Games.

Brennan: Jessica and Nelly Korda have each other to lean on for Olympic women's golf tournament

TOKYO — Without their parents, without their friends, without any spectators, the Korda sisters, Jessica and Nelly, arrived at the Olympic Games to begin play in the women’s golf tournament that begins Wednesday.

They were asked who they do have supporting them here this week.

“Each other,” Jessica said.

It was the perfect answer. The daughters of 1998 Australian Open men’s tennis champion Petr Korda and 1988 Czech Olympic tennis player Regina Rajchrtova Korda, Jessica, 28, and Nelly, 23, are two of the four U.S. golfers representing the United States in the women’s Olympic competition. Lexi Thompson and Danielle Kang are the others.

So far, it has been a stellar week for the Americans in golf, with Xander Schauffele winning the gold in the men’s event Sunday.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Jessica, who joined the LPGA Tour in 2011 and has six professional wins. “We walked around the Olympic Village a couple of days ago when we got here. What an experience that was. We watched the guys battle it out for bronze, just seeing what it means. What an exciting time to be able to play, sad obviously we can’t have fans out and really get the experience we are looking forward to but we’re still extremely grateful to be here.”

Jessica lives in Jupiter, Fla., and knows and practices with a few PGA Tour players, including Justin Thomas. When he arrived at the Games for the men’s competition, her texts started coming.

“I was grilling him when he first landed here: how is it, what’s everything like, I need to know details,” she said.

Nelly Korda (USA) watches on the eighteenth hole as she attends the final round of the men’s individual stroke play of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Kasumigaseki Country Club. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Now that he is finished competing and no longer here, he is returning the favor.

“He texted me this morning: ‘I’m dying to know what you think about the golf course.’ ”

Nelly, who joined the LPGA Tour in 2017 and won her first major, the Women’s PGA Championship, in June, said she was already into Olympic pin trading.

“I’m already kind of decked out,” she said, showing off the pins she had attached to her Olympic credential lanyard at a Monday press conference. “China has a really cool one with a panda on it.”

The sisters are far enough apart in age to never have been competitive growing up. Their rivalry began, Jessica said, “when Nelly came out on tour.”

They did have putting matches before Nelly turned pro.

“She would get mad at me because I would pick the most ridiculous putts,” Nelly said. “She was like, this is not practical.”

Said Jessica: “She’d pick putts across the entire green.”

But whatever rivalry they have pales in comparison to the bond they have as sisters traveling the world playing golf. (Their younger brother Sebastian, 21, is a professional tennis player who reached the fourth round of Wimbledon this year.)

“I don’t know what I would do without Jess,” Nelly said. “We had a conversation a couple days ago, ‘So you’re going to be playing til the end of my career too, right? You’re going to be out here as long as me? You’re not going to leave me, right?’”

Jessica didn’t necessarily answer those questions, but she did say Nelly has had a massive impact on her game.

“Not that it saved my career (when Nelly joined the tour) but I definitely think it refreshed it,” Jessica said. “It’s really lonely and it’s really hard to be out here. I did a lot of it myself. My younger brother and sister were growing up and it’s not like our parents could come out every week and travel with me.

“It gets to be a lot. You forget what normal life is like. That balance kind of just blurs a little bit. Just having her come out on tour, it really refreshed a lot of the love of the game and the love for the tour and wanting to be out here and doing this with her.”

Their only regret this week is that there will be no galleries supporting the top players in the world.

“With just how big women’s golf is here, I keep saying that it’s such a shame that we can’t have fans here,” Jessica said. “This would have been huge in Japan.”

Source : Golf Week More   

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Breaking: PGA Tour releases 2021-2022 schedule — WGC sliced, Euro partnership strengthens

The PGA Tour released its schedule — it included the first co-sanctioned European Tour event and only two WGCs.

Breaking: PGA Tour releases 2021-2022 schedule — WGC sliced, Euro partnership strengthens

The PGA Tour announced its slate of 48 tournaments that will make up the 2021-22 season, and it included a few new wrinkles.

The World Golf Championships will be sliced in half from four to two, with the WGC FedEx St. Jude Championship being promoted to the first of three FedEx Cup Playoff events and replacing the Northern Trust, which alternated between New York metropolitan area and Boston the last two years, and the Mexico Championship being demoted to a full-field regular season Tour event.

For the first time, the PGA Tour is co-sanctioning a European Tour event, the Scottish Open. The player field will be a split between members of both Tours and competitors will earn FedEx Cup points — a first for a European Tour event. Likewise, competitors in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship opposite-field events will earn points in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai for the first time.

“Adding an existing, strong title sponsor in Genesis to our Strategic Alliance in the form of the Genesis Scottish Open – to be sanctioned by both Tours – is a significant step for the global game,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan.

As part of the “Strategic Alliance” and collaboration between the two Tours, the Irish Open will nearly double the purse to $6 million for its annual European Tour event starting in 2022.

The 2022 portion of the schedule will kick off the PGA Tour’s new, nine-year domestic media rights agreements with ViacomCBS, Comcast/NBC and ESPN. There will be a one-week off season between the Tour Championship, September 2-5, and the kick off to the 2021-22 season in Napa, California at the Fortinet Championship.

The CJ Cup, which was held in Korea prior to COVID-19, will be held in the U.S. for a second straight year and be staged at The Summit Club in Las Vegas. The Zozo Championship, which was also held in the U.S. last year, is scheduled to return to Japan and the WGC HSBC Championship, which was canceled due to the global pandemic a year ago, is slated to be played in China.

The only remaining World Golf Championship events, which debuted in 1997, are the Dell Match Play Championship and the HSBC Championship in China.

Among the other notable changes to the schedule are:

The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (January 31-February 6) and the Waste Management Phoenix Open (February 7-13) trade spots in the schedule, as the Tour’s event at TPC Scottsdale remains in its traditional date of Super Bowl week.

The Puerto Rico Open (February 28-March 6) will be played as an opposite-field event alongside the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

With the biennial Presidents Cup being held at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte in 2022, the Wells Fargo Championship (May 2-8) will be contested for one year at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm in Potomac, Maryland.

The John Deere Classic (June 27-July 3), traditionally played the week prior to The Open Championship, moves one week earlier.

The European Tour will announce the initial portion of its 2022 schedule later this month, with the full season announcement to follow in due course.

Source : Golf Week More   

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