They ended the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland with a combined 6-0-2 record to contribute five of the 13 1/2 points for Team USA. While it’s a new year, Nelly Korda and Jessica Korda will look to continue their magic in the team event only this time on American soil at Inverness Club.
“We are on home soil and the crowds are rooting for you, so there’s more eyes on Team USA but we are all embracing this,” said Nelly, a three-time LPGA Tour champion in 2021 and the current No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings. “There is honestly nothing like a Solheim Cup with the crowds, the energy, the hype that we all have. I feel like we are the underdogs because they [Team Europe] are the ones defending. We’re ready for Saturday.”
It’s not about them, either. They could easily try to etch their names in Solheim Cup lore, but the Kordas are “here for the team,” added Jessica. Team USA captain Pat Hurst is utilizing the pod system, a formula forged by Paul Azinger at the 2008 Ryder Cup that broke up a 12-player team into three four-person units, and the Kordas were paired with Megan Khang and Ally Ewing long before stepping foot in Toledo, Ohio. The quartet is led by assistant captain Stacy Lewis and the group calls themselves “Chesnee’s Girls,” in honor of Lewis’ daughter.
Whether utilized by U.S. captains for the Solheim Cup, the Ryder Cup or President’s Cup, the pods only bolster the sense of country and team for individuals.
“We’re leaving a lot of it up to the captains,” Jessica said. “We are here for however we can contribute, and we will obviously contribute as best we can. This is a completely different golf course, different team and different year, so we’ll do our best to see what we have and enjoy ourselves while doing it.”
Having the World No. 1 as your sister, in your pod and on your team is sure to amplify expectations. But it’s a title that Nelly wears humbly, boldly and without hesitation, while continuously shedding any additional weight on her shoulders from the outside noise.
“I try not to think about it. There’s definitely a lot of people that try to put it in my head, for sure, but I am pretty easygoing,” said Nelly. “I just try to fly under the radar and do my thing, be prepared as best I possibly can and have fun. Hopefully put up some points, have fun with my pod and my teammates.”