Nelly Korda: Golf’s latest gold medallist from a sporty family

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Nelly Korda, the gold-medal winner in women’s golf at the Tokyo Olympics, has gone ahead of her father Petr Korda, the former tennis player and a Grand Slam winner.

Nelly, the world number one in the women’s golf rankings, had to fight off a bevy of challengers in the final round of women’s individual stroke play to clinch the gold with an aggregate score of 17-under. She was the overnight leader by three strokes in the event.

For Nelly, who made her debut as a professional in 2016, making a career out of sports was in the genes. She is the second child of Petr and his wife Regina.

Her father Petr won the 1998 Australian Open and was a runner-up at the French Open. He also has 10 ATP titles and reached No. 2 in the world rankings.

Regina (nee Rajchrtova) was a professional tennis player who reached 26 in the world ranking before retiring after a knee injury. She represented erstwhile Czechoslovakia in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

The youngest Korda sibling, 21-year-old Sebastian, is ranked 45th in men’s singles. He won the Emilia-Romagna Open, his first ATP title and was in the fourth round of Wimbledon this year.

Her elder sister, Jessica Korda, also a professional golfer like Nelly, is placed 14th in the world rankings. 28-year-old Jessica, who won her first LPGA title this year, participated in the event alongside Nelly at the Tokyo Olympics. Jessica finished tied for 15th in the event at 9-under and embraced Nelly after her win.

The entire competition came down to the tricky 18th hole at the Kasumigaseki Country Club. Nelly and Japan’s Mone Inami, ranked 29 in the world, entered the hole tied for the lead at 17-under. But a trip to the bunker sent Inami to a bogey. Nelly finished with a par to seal the gold.

Nelly gave USA its second gold at golf after Xander Schauffele did the same in the men’s event last Sunday. The gold medals in golf at the Tokyo Olympics now belong to the United States of America. In a sport absent from the Olympics for over a century, four of seven gold medals have now gone to the USA.

Nelly has also become the first golfer to win a Major and an Olympics gold medal in the same year. 2021 has proved to be an eventful year for the golfer from Florida.

Since the start of 2021, Nelly has won the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, the Meijer LPGA Classic and the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. All of that added up to the 23-year-old taking the No. 1 spot in the rankings for the first time in her career.

With parents and siblings in the world of professional sports, Nelly knows she can hope for plenty more accolades in golf after the high of Tokyo.

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