Chevron Championship: Nelly Korda aims for fifth LPGA Tour win in a row at first women's major 2024

Nelly Korda claimed the Pelican Women's Championship 2022. (Image Credits - Sky Sports)
By Pushkar Pandey | Apr 18, 2024 | 4 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The United States is currently abuzz with excitement about women’s sports, though this enthusiasm hasn’t fully spread to women’s golf—even in the face of Nelly Korda’s impressive achievements. However, eyes might turn to Korda if she achieves her fifth consecutive victory and second major title this week at the Chevron Championship in Texas. If successful, Korda would match the legendary Nancy Lopez’s feat from 1978. Korda is the first American to string together four LPGA wins since Lopez’s streak 46 years ago.

Lopez’s extraordinary debut made the cover of Sports Illustrated, starting with a win in Baltimore and including a major victory at the LPGA Championship. While basketball sensation Caitlin Clark, the recent top WNBA draft pick after a dynamic career with the Iowa Hawkeyes, is currently grabbing the spotlight with her appearances drawing sizeable television viewerships of 1.89 million – double the audience of 9.6 million that tuned into Scottie Scheffler‘s Masters win.

Korda’s impressive performances haven’t quite caught the broader public’s attention, and she seems content focusing on her game—or as she puts it, staying in her “bubble.” Still, she acknowledges that something must be done to promote women’s golf’s compelling narrative better. Korda believes that the sport needs more visibility, stressing the importance of live television coverage over tape delays to enhance the game’s popularity.

She asserts that given the platform, women’s sports can demonstrate their excellence and captivate audiences. Since her victory at the Drive On Championship in Bradenton, Korda hasn’t been defeated on the LPGA Tour, continuing her winning streak with subsequent triumphs in California, Arizona, and Las Vegas.

Nelly Korda’s performance was strong throughout the game

Even after a seven-week hiatus, Korda’s performance remained strong, although she admitted to feeling exhausted after her break, which contrasted with Scheffler’s momentum during his Masters win. Korda shares high expectations similar to those following Scheffler’s Augusta win and openly admires his character, work ethic, and ability to inspire—including herself.

Both aim to win whenever they compete, and Nelly Korda believes in staying true to oneself amidst hype and pressure. Korda is consciously experiencing a unique period in her career, still anticipating her second major title after becoming the Women’s PGA champion. She sees the unpredictable nature of golf as a learning experience and values persisting through both wins and losses.

With motivational messages inscribed in her yardage book, given to her by her coach Jamie Mulligan, Korda enters this week’s tournament with personal affirmations that have helped her succeed in her recent winning streak. Although she keeps these sayings close to her chest, it’s clear they have significantly contributed to her confidence and performance on the course.

Who is Nelly Korda?

At 25, the American golfer emerges as the frontrunner to clinch the title at the Chevron Championship, previously known as the ANA Inspiration. As the first major event of the women’s golf season kicks off this Thursday, all eyes are on her at The Woodlands, Texas, which became the tournament’s home starting the previous year. Her winning streak on the LPGA Tour—snagging four titles in her most recent outings—echoes the heyday of golf legend Annika Sorenstam and places her squarely in the spotlight this week.

The surge of excitement around her, widely referred to as the ‘Korda phenomenon’, has firmly gripped the golfing world. With victory in sight for Korda, the daughter of Czech tennis pro Petr Korda, by the final round on Sunday, the championship’s viewership could very well challenge, if not exceed, that of the RBC Heritage, the PGA Tour competition taking place concurrently.

Currently ranked first in the world, she’s on the cusp of securing her fifth major win in a row, a feat previously achieved only by Nancy Lopez in 1978 and the aforementioned Sorenstam between 2004 and 2005. This string of success highlights the potential boost such achievements could give to women’s golf, which often plays second fiddle to the men’s game on U.S. television broadcasts.

Interestingly, during her recent match, viewership numbers surpassed those of the prestigious Augusta Masters—an unexpected twist that Korda acknowledged in a press briefing, where she championed the visibility of women’s sports on TV. Reflecting on her incredible run, she noted the increased attention and expressed her gratitude, keenly aware of how quickly fortunes can change in the world of sports.

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