Nelly Korda is the best player in the world — Five players to watch at the Olympics — Must-click women’s golf links

The IX: Golf Thursday with Sarah Kellam, July 8, 2021

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Keep Squeaking

Nelly Korda is the best player in the world right now. Period. End of sentence.

Never mind those that keep awarding Jon Rahm the distinction after his commanding play in the first three rounds of the Memorial and his win at the U.S. Open. When you look at her season thus far on paper, it’s Nelly by a mile.

She’s carded three wins in 2021, the Gainbridge LPGA, Meijer LPGA Classic, and most notably, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. In eleven total starts, she’s only had three finishes outside of the top ten this year – a T25, a T28, and a missed cut – with top fives making up over half of her results. 

She’s overtaken the top spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, knocking off Jin Young Ko to become the 3rd American ever to become number one in the world. 

Oh and the best stat of them all?

Nelly has only missed two cuts in the last two years.

Let’s be frank, give any PGA Tour or European Tour player that kind of resume over the course of a season and they’d be the talk of the entire golf industry. However, it seems that because that laundry list of accomplishments belongs to a professional on the LPGA Tour, much more convincing is needed to prove the “best player in the world” point. 

In this day and age, it’d be interesting to know the exact psychology behind the aversion to admitting that a woman is the best golfer in the world, but it’s apparent that much of the issue stems from an antiquated mindset that automatically defaults to men always being at the top of the food chain when it comes to sport.

There are examples to the contrary when you look at athletes like Simone Biles and Serena Williams and the admiration for them in their respective professions, but golf is abhorrently lacking in forward-thinkers, resulting in the constant diminishment of the women’s game through both chosen oblivion and absent-minded comparison.

So, how do we change the rationale? 

We must keep calling attention to the default thought process. 

While it is continually frustrating to have to beat the drum over and over again and while it may seem like these subtleties don’t matter, every time the thinking is questioned or a second thought is induced means that the thinking shifts in a new direction.

There’s an old adage that says “the squeaky wheel gets some grease” and in this instance, its point certainly rings true.

Yes, having statistics for the LPGA Tour helps immensely. Yes, having a woman tee it up with the men of the PGA Tour garners attention. Yes, mixed-gender events on the LET and European Tours prove that the men’s and women’s games aren’t all that different. 

But, it’s these microcosms of change in thinking that will have the most lasting impact. We just have to keep squeaking.

This week in women’s golf

(Reminder: First: the underlined words are the links. Second: CLICK these, even if you’ve already read them. ESPECIALLY NOW, as newsrooms are forced to make difficult choices. Clicks = Attention from editors, producers, and webmasters. Third, if you want to push out stuff you’ve written or read, email me!

Jane Park’s daughter, Grace Godfrey, has been hospitalized with inexplicable brain swelling and seizures. (via

Jane Park’s daughter has been hospitalized and the LPGA Tour is showing its support for Baby Grace. (via

The LPGA Foundation has announced five recipients of the Renee Powell Grant. (via

How the Clearview Legacy Foundation is impacting young people both on and off the golf course. (via

Here’s an update on the impact the #HoodieforGolf campaign is making. (via

The Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit took place in Atlanta following the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. (via

Check out this cool feature on Renee Powell. (via

Mariah Stackhouse finally got to meet Renee Powell and it was a really cool moment. (via

The inaugural John Shippen may not have gone exactly according to plan, but its impact will be lasting. (via

Shasta Averhardt appeared on Golf Channel to discuss diversity and accessibility in the game. (via

So Yeon Ryu has good memories from the Marathon LPGA Classic and is happy to be back. (via

It’s a hometown event for Stacy Lewis in Toledo this week and she’s relieved that things seem to be returning to normal following the pandemic. (via

It was a long drive for Rachel Heck and her father to Ohio for the Marathon LPGA Classic. (via

Many players are reflecting on 2020’s impact on them on and off the golf course ahead of the Marathon LPGA Classic. (via

How to watch the Marathon LPGA Classic. (via

Rachel Heck took the scenic route to this week’s LPGA Tour stop, driving to the event instead of flying. (via

Tiffany Joh has announced her retirement from professional golf. (via

Jin Young Ko takes home the title at the Volunteers of America Classic right after losing her spot as world number one. (via

Jin Young Ko wins the Volunteers of America Classic. (via

It was the eighth win for Jin Young Ko in Dallas at the Volunteers of America Classic . (via

Emma Talley fired a 63 on Sunday to finish T4 in Dallas. (via

With a fresh perspective, Emma Talley has banner tournament in Texas. (via

Emma Talley has found her game again after chasing distance caused her to lose it. (via

Judy Rankin is giving junior golfers opportunity through her JTR Suitcase Fund. (via

Judy Rankin draws on her own experiences in junior golf when it come to her charitable JTR Suitcase Fund, an organization that helps junior golfers with the cost of the game. (via

Matilda Castren is a rookie on the LPGA Tour, but is quickly finding her place among golf’s stars. (via

Stacy Lewis relies on her drive to propel her forward after an MC at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. (via

Angela Stanford has a lot going on off the golf course when it comes to dealing with her mother’s health. (via

Could the Korda family be any more athletically talented or unique in their relationship with one another? (via

Nelly Korda won her first major at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship two weeks ago. (via

One of the Korda kids is FINALLY a major champion. (via

Nelly Korda ascends to the top of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. (via

Nelly Korda is now ranked number one in the world after her win at the KPMG. (via

Nelly Korda took her home her first major at Atlanta Athletic Club. (via

Nelly Korda won the KPMG in commanding fashion and now sits at the top of the world rankings. (via

More on Nelly Korda’s historic win in Atlanta. (via

Nelly Korda now holds the top spot in the race for the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award. (via

Ron Sirak on how well the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship showcased the diversity of the LPGA Tour. (via

Even though she didn’t win, the KPMG was a big victory for Lizette Salas. (via

Why the art of discipline matters so much in golf, especially at major championships. (via

Lizette Salas’ willingness to speak up about her mental health on and off the golf course proves the point that athletes are just as susceptible to these problems as anyone. (via

Lizette Salas got candid about her mental health at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. (via

A full breakdown of the prize money won at the KPMG. (via

Future sites for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. (via

Michelle Wie West made her first cut in a major since 2018 at the KPMG. (via

With some tough love from her husband, Michelle Wie West made the cut at the Atlanta Athletic Club. (via

Michelle Wie West made the cut in a major for the first time since 2018 two weeks ago. (via

Maria Fassi was given a slow play penalty at the KPMG that resulted in her missing the cut. (via

Maria Fassi was frustrated with the slow play penalty she was assessed at Atlanta Athletic Club. (via

Mariah Stackhouse felt right at home at the Atlanta Athletic Club because she literally grew up there. (via

Shan Shan Feng is considering hanging up her pro career after the Olympics. (via

Shan Shan Feng is considering retiring after the Olympics. (via

The Olympic golf competition fields have been confirmed. (via

The field is set for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. (via

Here’s who’s in for the 2021 Olympics. (via

The teams have been finalized for the Olympics. (via

Not surprisingly, the Kordas are the headliners for the Olympic games in Tokyo. (via

Morgane Metraux chose playing in the Evian Championship over the Olympics. Here’s why. (via

The U.S. and Korea are sending four players each to Tokyo for the Olympic games. (via

More on the women’s golf Olympic field. (via

Here’s which Australian golfers will be competing at Tokyo. (via

USA golf has eight athletes competing at the Olympic games in Tokyo. (via

Jodi Ewart Shadoff is looking forward to both the Olympic and Solheim Cup opportunities that she has this season. (via

Jessica Korda rounds out the U.S. women’s golf Olympic team. (via

Matilda Castren hasn’t qualified for the European Solheim Cup team even though she’s won already this season. (via

There was a Team USA Solheim Cup practice session before the VOA Classic last week. (via

Cheyenne Knight is now a Solheim Cup prospect. (via

Pride Month is significant for so many members of the LPGA Tour. (via

Mel Reid is still looking for golf to be more inclusive across the board. (via

Here are some of the notables that will be skipping the Evian Championship. (via

The stars of the LPGA Tour have plenty of talent, but are still lacking a stage writes Karen Crouse for the New York Times. (via

Annika Sorenstam among the first women to be awarded membership at Pine Valley. (via

Pine Valley is finally allowing female members and there are some notable names already joining the club. (via

The first women have been officially awarded membership to Pine Valley. (via

USGA executive committee member Cathy Engelbert discusses what she wants to see as the game of golf moves forward. (via

Rachel Heck reflects on her journey from Memphis, Tennessee to standout Stanford freshman. (via

Sanda Gal celebrated her first 4th of July as an American citizen last week. (via

A feature on Special Olympian Amanda Bussey and her athletic abilities in a myriad of sports. (via

A cool story about amateur Jackie Rogowicz and her win at the Donna Andrews Invitational. (via

A look inside the championship mindset of Sei Young Kim. (via

Here’s why more women don’t arm-lock when they putt. (via

This LPGA Tour event had to be moved to a different venue for safety reasons. (via

This LET Chairperson reflects on her involvement with the Solheim Cup. (via

The 2021 Solheim Cup teams now have Skechers on board as the official footwear sponsor. (via

Skechers will be supplying the footwear for this year’s Solheim Cup. (via

Cube Partnership has been announced as a supporter of the 2023 Solheim Cup. (via

Female-owned Lohla Sport is bringing an LA flair to European golf style for women. (via

The latest Forward Press podcast from Golfweek talks Nelly Korda and Pine Valley finally admitting female members. (via

Lexi Thompson and Dame Laura Davies are an unlikely duo a the Aramco Team Series – London. (via

Three things to watch for at the Aramco Team Series – London event. (via

Stephanie Kyriacou won the Big Green Egg Open by two shots. (via

LET players will be working with young women that are participants in The Girls’ Network ahead of the Aramco Team Series – London. (via

Rosendaelsche is doing its part for environmental sustainability in the golf space. (via

It was Atthaya Thitikul who won the Czech Ladies Open on the LET. (via

Atthaya Thitikul won the Tipsport Czech Ladies Open for her third LET title. (via

Erica Shephard is learning from her fellow Blue Devils as she competes on the Symetra Tour. (via

Jessica Porvasnik will tee it up at the Donald Ross Classic after receiving an exemption through the WAPT. (via

Brynn Walker reflects on her first LPGA Tour event as a pro. (via

This Symetra Tour player has a good friend and competitor caddying for her in Indiana this week. (via

Here are some of the storylines to follow at the Donald Ross Classic in Indiana this week. (via

Here are the featured groups at this week’s Donald Ross Classic on the Symetra Tour. (via

An update of the Race to the Card standings. (via

A preview of the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic. (via

Meghan MacLaren in her own words about her victory and her career in golf. (via

Meghan MacLaren nabs her first Symetra Tour victory at the Prasco Charity Championship. (via

Here’s what you need to know about Meghan MacLaren who just won for the first time on the Symetra Tour. (via

Here’s what’s in the bag of Meghan MacLaren, winner of the Prasco Charity Championship. (via

Tweet of the Week

Five at The IX: Olympians I Have My Eyes On

Emily Kristine Pedersen

Pedersen had four victories in 2020 on the Ladies European Tour, including three in a row in the month of November. While she hasn’t won just yet in 2021, she’s squarely on the European Solheim Cup team for her efforts last year and the confidence boost that comes from a season like that can change the entire trajectory of a player’s mindset in a nanosecond. Look for her to make some noise in Tokyo.

Min Lee

Carding one win in just four starts on the Symetra Tour this season and finishing second at the LPGA Mediheal, Chinese Taipei’s Min Lee is a player that’s been trending upwards just in time for the games in a few weeks.

Mel Reid

We all know what happens to Mel Reid when you drape the Union Jack across her shoulders so I’m fully expecting her to be right in the mix to win the gold medal.

Shan Shan Feng

The Olympics will likely be the last event that Shan Shan will compete in professionally so the 2016 bronze medalist will be at the forefront of my players to watch in Tokyo.

Lexi Thompson

With all of the attention likely being focused on the Kordas, I’m curious to see how well Lexi plays “out of the spotlight”. Plus, she’s another player that turns it on when competing for her country.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal The Next
Thursdays: Golf
By Sarah Kellam @sarahkellam, Contributor
Fridays: Hockey
By: Erica Ayala, @ELindsay08 NWHL Broadcaster
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By Jessica Taylor Price, @jesstaylorprice, Freelance Gymnastics Writer

Written by Sarah Kellam