KAWAGOE, Japan (AP) — They are separated by five years and can pass as twin sisters from a distance, blond and athletic, both approaching 6 feet with a golf swing that is picturesque and unparalleled.
Jessica and Nelly Korda — Crew Jelly, they prefer to claim — were decked out in matching American outfits for his or her first Olympic observe spherical at Kasumigaseki Country Membership, distinguishable mainly thanks to the warmth.
The sun blazing, Nelly flipped up the collar of her white shirt, which became as soon as blue on the inside. That became as soon as one formulation to inform them aside.
The a vary of is the realm ranking.
Both with six LPGA victories, 23-yr-historical Nelly became the main main champion in the family since their father — Petr Korda, the 1998 Australian Open champion in tennis — by winning the Females’s PGA Championship in Atlanta and moving to No. 1 in the realm.
That became as soon as a astronomical week for 28-yr-historical Jessica, too, because she locked down the fourth American dwelling in the Tokyo Olympics.
“We walked at some stage in the Olympic Village a couple of days in the past when we purchased right here and what an abilities that became as soon as, dazzling itself,” Jessica said Monday. “What a exciting time so that you just can play.”
They achieved one dream five years in the past when Nelly joined her astronomical sister on the LPGA Tour.
They played in the Solheim Cup together for the main time in 2019. As companions in both foursomes lessons, they were so dominant in their two victories that neither match made it previous the 14th hole.
Jessica obtained the main LPGA match this yr. Nelly obtained the next week.
Here’s more about sibling enhance than sibling contention.
“It’s in truth surreal,” Nelly said. “It’s so powerful enjoyable. I don’t know what I’d finish without Jess. We had a dialog a couple days in the past. I became as soon as luxuriate in: ‘So that you just’re going to be playing until the finish of my occupation, too, dazzling? You’re going to be out right here as prolonged as me. You’re no longer going to fade me, dazzling?’ I’m dazzling distinguished grateful to luxuriate in her, in truth, every step of the procedure.”
That goes for Jessica, too.
She earned her LPGA Tour card when she became as soon as 17, meeting the LPGA age requirement the following February and a yr later had her first LPGA title — fittingly, the Females’s Australian Open, luxuriate in her Czech-born father.
She had four wins earlier than Nelly joined her, and in many methods made golf even better.
“No longer that it saved my occupation, nonetheless I definitely think it refreshed it,” Jessica said. “It’s if truth be told lonely and it’s if truth be told arduous to be out right here, and I did a range of it myself. I luxuriate in a younger brother and a younger sister, so it’s no longer luxuriate in my folk would possibly maybe per chance well presumably come out every week and shuttle with me.
“You neglect what standard lifestyles is luxuriate in,” she said. “Then dazzling having her come out, it if truth be told refreshed rather a lot of the luxuriate in of the game and the luxuriate in for the tour, dazzling wanting to be out right here and doing this together with her.”
The younger brother is Sebastian Korda, who at 21 already has reached the fourth spherical of two Mountainous Slam events — most lately Wimbledon — and cracked the pinnacle 50 in the realm. He chose no longer to play in the Tokyo Olympics.
Nelly Korda is a leading contender when the ladies folks’s competition starts Wednesday. She is coming off a serious title, her third victory on the LPGA Tour.
Both would possibly maybe per chance well luxuriate in their work lower out for them.
The Olympics luxuriate in been front and heart for the ladies folks when golf returned to this system in 2016. The 60-player field gains the pinnacle 14 in the ladies folks’s world ranking. The males had six of the pinnacle 14 in the realm.
All three medalists return from Rio de Janeiro — Inbee Park of South Korea obtained the gold, Lydia Ko of New Zealand obtained the silver and Shanshan Feng of China obtained the bronze.
Park returns feeling rather more relaxed than in 2016. She became as soon as beneath distinguished rigidity at house thanks to a thumb injury that kept her out of elite competition for two months, including two majors. There were questions whether or no longer she must always present up her dwelling so that powerhouse South Korea would possibly maybe per chance well luxuriate in four dazzling possibilities at gold.
And then she beat the realm’s No. 1 player by five photography.
“It’s no longer the same. I imply, 2016 became as soon as by a ways most rigidity-stuffed I’ve ever felt in my lifestyles. I don’t know if I would possibly maybe per chance well presumably finish that when again,” Park said. “I plan no longer luxuriate in any injury this yr and I luxuriate in been playing the season well. So it’s pretty bit a vary of to 2016.
“However the same result would possibly maybe per chance well presumably be nice, dazzling?”
This would possibly maybe increasingly shape up as a surprising battle between South Korea and the U.S. for the rostrum.
South Korea has been dominant in ladies folks’s golf for greater than a decade. This yr, led by Crew Jelly, the American citizens luxuriate in accounted for six wins. South Korea has easiest three. Thailand has four, led by main winner Patty Tavatanakit.
More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports