New No. 1 Korda wants to 'stay the same' ahead of Evian Championship

Evian (France) (AFP) –


Recently-crowned women's world number one Nelly Korda said she plans to keep her feet on the ground before this weekend's Evian Championship.

Korda is seeking back-to-back majors in France this weekend after winning the LPGA Championship in Atlanta last month.

Last year the tournament, in the foothills of the Alps, was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"I read last week that now I am world No.1 everyone is gunning for me but I just want to stay the same and try and do my very best," said the 22-year-old.

"It's very cool to be world No.1 and it is another goal ticked off. I am very proud of my success this year, but I want more.

"It is so nice to be back at Evian. I was lucky during Covid, Florida, ran pretty normally and I got to play a lot of golf but it's great to be back here. The views make it a very special place.

"This year, the course is much softer than normal and I know there was a lot of rain last week. But whatever the conditions it is going to be very difficult."

The other two major winners this year were Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit, who won the ANA Inspiration, and US Open champion, Yuka Saso, from the Philippines.

World No.2 Ko Jin-young is the defending champion having won Evian in a special 2019 for the South Korean.

Ko won the ANA Inspiration at the beginning of that year, a victory that helped propel her to the head of the world rankings.

For Korda and her family it has been a very special sporting year.

Nelly and older sister Jessica (the world No. 13) are both playing this week and then go on to represent the US in the Olympics in Japan.

And younger brother Sebastian is making his mark on the world's top tennis courts.

He reached the fourth round of Wimbledon this month and has broken into the world's top 50.

Dad Petr Korda, who represented the Czech Republic, is a former Australian Open tennis winner, and Nelly admits she is proud of the sporting achievements.

"We've always been a very busy family and have had a very structured routine. It's great that Seb is doing so well in something he loves. Mum and Dad have always been really supportive."

- No Thompson or Kang -

Park Inbee, the seven time major champion, won the Evian in 2012 - the year before it became a major - and the South Korean will be defending the Olympic golf medal in Tokyo

"That is very, very special," the 32-year-old said.

"Winning in Rio was a real highlight and it was my big goal this year to get the chance to defend the Olympic title.

"I'd really like to collect my second gold and make my country very proud again."

Ko won in Texas earlier this month for her eighth LPGA title and is hoping to make Evian her third major.

"It was so special to win two years ago, but it seems a long time ago," she said.

"I was really sad to miss out last year but I am looking forward to defending the title. It’s just great to be back."

While Korda, Park and Ko are using Evian as a stepping stone to the Olympics, two top Americans - Lexi Thompson and Danielle Kang - are skipping Evian to concentrate on preparations for Tokyo.