Nelly Korda, winner of six events this season, reveals her proudest moment of 2024 … and it might surprise

Nelly Korda, a six-time winner on tour this season, says she was never more proud of herself this season than the U.S. Women’s Open. That might sound strange, given that she made a 10 on a par 3 and didn’t play the weekend.

But Korda is wise enough to see past the score.

“I’m not going to say that I was happy with the way I played,” she said. “I was happy with the way I fought. I fought really, really, hard to make the cut.”

This week, Korda comes back to the Meijer LPGA Classic, a place where she’s had great success, winning in 2021 and coming up short in a playoff the following year. Michigan’s Grand Rapids area is one of her favorite stops on tour, and it’s where she hit the reset button three years ago after a devastating missed cut at the U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic Club.

Korda went on to win the Meijer that week, followed by the KPMG Women’s PGA the next and Olympic gold later that summer in Japan.

“I just told myself, like, I’m doing what I love for a living,” she said of her mindset going into the 2021 Meijer. “Like, I’m going to amazing places, playing in front of amazing crowds. There is no point to be miserable out there. Go out and have fun. Even if you’re not playing well.

“Sometimes you have to build a bridge and get over it.”

2023 Meijer LPGA Classic
2023 Meijer LPGA Classic

Leona Maguire hoists the 2023 Meijer LPGA Classic trophy at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Michigan. (Photo: Cody Scanlan/Holland Sentinel)

On Thursday, Korda will be paired with a couple of other past champions at the Meijer, 2023 winner Leona Maguire and two-time champ Brooke Henderson. Maguire calls the Meijer the unofficial start of summer for the LPGA and relishes the Irish vibes of the Midwest.

“I think a lot of people associate Irish golf with links golf, primarily around the coast and things like that,” said Maguire, “but actually a lot of Irish golf courses are like this – a lot of trees, very green. That’s mainly because of a lot of the rain we get. I grew up playing courses like that more than links golf.

“And I think just the people as well, the friendly atmosphere around I think the midwest is a little bit more similar to the Irish mentality in that way.”

Korda enjoys the aggressive nature of Blythefield Country Club, where the par 5s are reachable with irons for the World No. 1, and there’s a potential birdie around every corner. The narrow fairways call for precise driving, which is typically a strength for the 14-time winner. The crowds are typically strong, too.

Korda took a week off after the U.S. Women’s Open, skipping last week’s ShopRite event. She decompressed for a few days, took her mind off the game, and then went back to work.

When asked whether a bump in the road like Lancaster makes her even more motivated for the rest of 2024, Korda’s response revealed much about her mature outlook.

“Yeah, I mean, I love when golf humbles me. Not to that extent,” she said with a smile, “but I do love when golf humbles me. Sometimes you ride the highs, but it’s always, in a sense, nice to know where you can improve, too.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek