2021 was a year to remember for Nelly Korda. Four LPGA Tour victories. A gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. A half-year at No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. And a December moment forever captured for the cameras – finally meeting Tiger Woods, an interaction that still excites the usually cool-as-a-cucumber Korda.
“Obviously I was a little star struck. I met him the day before that video came out, which was a little embarrassing to me. I didn't know I was being recorded,” she said on Wednesday at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. “I look like such a fan girl, and then it blew up. It went viral. So it was really funny.”
Korda and World No. 2 Jin Young Ko are the class of the LPGA Tour right now, accounting for nine combined wins in 2021 and sitting four points ahead of the rest of the Rolex Rankings field. The two players have swapped the top spot in the Rankings since July 2019, with Ko at the top for 102 weeks and Korda for 28, including the last 11 consecutive. For Korda, the top spot is certainly an honor and a recognition of her hard work. But the work ethic doesn’t wane as she’s the best in the world. There’s always more to do.
“I'm hungrier for more, but in a sense of focusing just on that No. 1 spot, I'm not too focused on that. I mean, rankings come and go. Someone is probably going to have a better year or play well and you're going to lose that ranking. But just to have it for a little, feels really good,” she said. “I've always said, good golf kind of solves everything, so if I go about focusing on one event at a time, one shot at a time, hopefully I can do some damage this year.”