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Nelly Korda tweaked her golf swing. ‘Crazy history’ has followed.

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Nelly Korda tweaked her golf swing. ‘Crazy history’ has followed.


LANCASTER, Pa. — Nelly Korda was scrolling through the U.S. Women’s Open Instagram page recently when she came across a post of her swing in 2016. The world’s top-ranked golfer almost instantly recoiled, shocked by the deficiencies in her mechanics.

Korda had been over-rotating her hands during her takeaway, a breakdown that made getting the club face square at impact more challenging than necessary. She tweaked the motion after she began working with swing coach Jamie Mulligan, who also has provided instruction to Patrick Cantlay, the eighth-ranked men’s golfer in the world.

That fix has, at least in part, propelled Korda to a winning pace unmatched in her sport’s history heading into this week’s U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club, where she is seeking her first win in the most prestigious event in women’s golf. Korda’s run of six victories in seven starts this season included the first major of the year, the Chevron Championship in April.

She is the first player to reel off such a streak since at least 1980, when the LPGA Tour began keeping official statistics. Her most recent win came this month at the Mizuho Americas Open at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, in the shadow of Manhattan. The only time she didn’t win during the streak? She still tied for seventh. That’s why hearing her talk about her 2016 swing sounds so jarring.


KORDA 1

Nelly Korda has nearly twice as many rankings points as the world’s no. 2 player.

LPGA wins in a single year

Korda has already won six tournaments in 2024, the most by any player since 2013.

Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam won at least six tournaments five years in a row, from 2001-2005.

South Korea’s Inbee Park was the last player to win at least six tournaments in a year, in 2013.

Since February, Korda has doubled her world ranking points.

Source: LPGA and rolexrankings.com.

KORDA 1

Nelly Korda has nearly twice as many rankings points as the world’s no. 2 player.

LPGA wins in a single year

Korda has already won six tournaments in 2024, the most by any player since 2013.

Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam won at least six tournaments five years in a row, from 2001-2005.

South Korea’s Inbee Park was the last player to win at least six tournaments in a year, in 2013.

Since February, Korda has doubled her world ranking points.

Source: LPGA and rolexrankings.com.

KORDA 1 medium

Nelly Korda has nearly twice as many rankings points as the world’s no. 2 player.

LPGA wins in a single year

Korda has already won six tournaments in 2024, the most by any player since 2013.

Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam

won at least six tournaments five

years in a row, from 2001-2005.

South Korea’s Inbee

Park was the last

player to win at least

six tournaments in

a year, in 2013.

Since February, Korda has doubled her world ranking points.

Source: LPGA and rolexrankings.com.

“I was watching [the 2016 video], and I knew my swing was that bad,” Korda said. “That just shows how much there’s always hope, really for anyone out there, because I worked really, really hard on my swing. For us, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday are very, very important to make sure that my swing is in the right plane, in the right spots. …

“Making sure that I’m hitting my positions is really, really key for me because, if I start to over-rotate on the way back, it’s hard for me to get back into that position on the way down. It may look on the same plane, but even if you’re like a half a degree off, your face is a half a degree open, that thing’s going to go sideways.”

With a swing regarded by players on both the LPGA and PGA tours as perhaps the most sound and repeatable in the game — particularly in the highest leverage circumstances — the 25-year-old arrived here as the prohibitive favorite in the second of the five major championships on the women’s golf calendar.

Accompanying her in Lancaster is Mulligan, whose presence has been invaluable to the two-time major champion during this transcendent season. In previous years, Korda relied on video calls with coaches, including longtime short-game instructor David Whelan, for swing corrections. Those sessions did not necessarily translate into better results on the course.

Mulligan was standing just off the 18th green following Korda’s victory at the Chevron Championship and has been with her regularly this year. She made sure to thank him during the trophy presentation after taking a ceremonial leap into a lake at The Club at Carlton Woods, part of a tournament tradition.

“I rarely had a coach out here with me last year and the years before, and I love the fact that I have one out here now because before, if I wasn’t hitting it well — it’s different to have someone out here versus FaceTiming them and trying to figure it out on your own,” said Korda, who was introduced to Mulligan several years ago through her sister, Jessica. “Actually having that face-to-face conversation and them putting you in that position and kind of feeling it, because feel versus real is very, very different.”

Korda’s supremacy from tee to green has left her peers in awe. That includes world No. 6 Rose Zhang, the only player to win an event that Korda entered during her streak.

“I don’t know how to explain it or how to phrase it right, but what Nelly is doing is not something that anyone can do, and history tells it,” Zhang said. “I’m witnessing crazy history, and it’s really, really inspiring to see her out here and play. She’s almost looking unfazed, and I think [it’s] because she’s so solidified in her prep work, she’s so solidified with the people around her, and she loves the game. She’s really just going out here and playing for herself.”

Zhang — who shot 24 under par to win the Founders Cup by two strokes over Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom — is in one of the featured groups during Thursday’s first round at Lancaster, which last hosted the U.S. Women’s Open in 2015. In Gee Chun won that year by one stroke over fellow South Korean Amy Yang and by two over Stacy Lewis, captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup team, and Inbee Park, also of South Korea.

Korda’s uprising has drawn more attention to women’s golf during a boom time for women’s sports. The NCAA women’s basketball final between Iowa and South Carolina drew an average of 18.9 million viewers, a record for women’s basketball at any level. The WNBA draft — with former Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark getting chosen first — also smashed ratings records, and Clark’s arrival has keyed a surge in WNBA ratings.

The final round of the Chevron Championship, meanwhile, peaked at nearly 2 million viewers, according to NBC, making it the most-watched Chevron Championship since 2010. And the purse for this U.S. Open, $12 million, is the largest in women’s golf, with the winner taking home $2.4 million.

“It’s an incredible time for the women’s game,” said U.S. Golf Association CEO Mike Whan, who served as the commissioner of the LPGA Tour from 2010 to 2021. “I think anybody who has known Nelly over the years knew it was in there. I don’t know if any of us thought it was this kind of run, but her ability to have multiple-win seasons was never in question. One thing I know from being around the LPGA … there’s 70, 80 players probably working harder now than ever before, so that’s what makes these runs hard, because there’s a lot of talent. It’s deeper out there than ever before.”



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