With Olympic spot locked up, Nelly Korda looking to get back on track at KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

Nelly Korda has been the best female golfer in the world this year — by a wide margin — but even she isn’t perfect.

Look no further than her last two starts in the U.S. Women’s Open and Meijer LPGA Classic: missed cut and missed cut. Even for Korda, who has won six times this year, including the first major championship of the year at the Chevron, it’s just one of those lulls that happens.

But that’s the thing about golf — there’s always another tournament. This week, the best female players in the world are in Sammamish, Washington, for the 2024 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the third major of the year. And Sahalee Country Club, which hosted the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA, is where Korda is looking to get back on track.

“I’m going to go through these situations so many times where I feel like I’m playing really well and I’ll go through a little lull where golf is the hardest thing in my life right now,” Korda said Tuesday during her pre-tournament press conference. “So that’s I feel like what grows myself as a person and what makes me appreciate the sport so much and makes me appreciate the wins and the highs and good shots, the crowds out there as well.”

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Two months ago, Korda looked invincible. She had won five straight starts and seemed a lock to win any time she teed it up. Then she had six wins in seven starts heading into the U.S. Women’s Open, where a 10 on the par-3 12th squashed any hopes she had of victory.

Last week, Korda surprisingly missed the cut, though there were some positives in Michigan, like a strong second round even with the missed cut. But she isn’t going to dwell on what she called poor course management, something she will have to do well at Sahalee.

“It’s just about playing the golf course,” Korda said. “You can write as many things into your yardage book and you can pick a game plan that you want to execute, but typically it doesn’t happen that way and you just got to adapt. Everything is about adapting, and that’s why I like to go out and just play the golf course and see the game that I have that day and try to adapt.”

Korda said Sahalee is different from other venues the LPGA has played at in Oregon or even Vancouver, Canada. But Korda plans to be aggressive off the tee, using driver every place she can, even on the narrow layout.

Her stellar spring has made Korda’s summer schedule a bit busier, too. Last week, she was confirmed as the first American on the Solheim Cup team, set for September at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia. But before that, she’ll also rep the red, white and blue in the Olympics, where in 2021 she won the gold medal in Tokyo.

This time, she’ll be defending her title in Paris at Le Golf National, site of the 2018 Ryder Cup.

“I have never been to Paris, and the one thing I’m really looking forward to is the croissants probably on every corner,” Korda said. “I love bakeries and baked goods, so that’s one thing I’m really looking forward to. And obviously representing my country and getting to compete in the Olympics is such an incredible opportunity.

“I’m just super excited to get there and even just to play that golf course. I got to watch it in Ryder Cup. To be able to play such amazing golf courses like we do nowadays will be such a treat.”

But before the Olympics, there are three major championships to be played, including this week at Sahalee for the KPMG Women’s PGA. It’s the major Korda got her first title at.

Although she comes in off two missed cuts, the pressure may not be as high as it was, but the drive to win remains.

“I feel like pressure is privilege, and that’s something that you’re the only one that can kind of control that,” Korda said. “You can listen to the outside voices, but at the end of the day, when you have pressure you can take it in a positive way that you are doing good and playing well. But, yeah, I’m just going to stay in my bubble this week and go out and try to execute my shots, be confident in what I have.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek