The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, July 25, 2019
Back-to-back Major Championships — Interview with Jessica Korda — Must-click links in women's golf
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Today is the start of a really exciting stretch on the LPGA—the fourth of five majors, Evian Championship, is in action as we speak and will be immediately followed up by the British Open to close out the 2019 Major Championship season. For all the players, families, supports and media out at Evian this week, I’m extremely jealous. The set-up looks incredible. And besides, a view of Lake Geneva isn’t too bad either. Check out this insane sunset from the course while you’re at it!
This marks the 25th year of the Evian Championship. Maybe it’s because I pay attention to women’s golf more than I used to for obvious reasons, but even over the last three or so years, it seems like events, and especially the majors, on the LPGA Tour have a bigger and better feel. Even the media center looks amazing, for goodness sake! If you need a great follow over the course of the weekend, be sure to check out Hally Leadbetter’s Twitter and Instagram pages (@hallyleadbetter on Twitter and @hallylead on Instagram). She’ll be there covering the event for Golf Digest and always has fun and oftentimes hilarious content.
Angela Stanford is the defending Champion coming into this week, so a lot of coverage has been around her, but I’d say there are a handful of other favorites. Sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda seem to always be in these conversations, but you also can’t forget about Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn, Sung Hyun Park or Hannah Green, who proved at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship she’s fully capable of winning majors. So many different players have stepped up this year, so it’s definitely going to be interesting to see how the next two weekends shake out!
I honestly would love to see another first-time major winner like we did at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. I just find the stories that come out of new winners a huge help to the women’s game. Of course, we all love seeing the historically dominant players rise to the occasion again, but there’s just something special about seeing a new and fresh face in the winner’s circle!
I’m unsure how I feel about back-to-back majors as this is the first (and I think only) time the LPGA schedule will work out this way. I personally love it because it’s two big weeks in a row for fans and followers, but it would be really tough as a player. I’m sure for the players who are traveling over from the states it takes a bit to adjust to the time change and long travel days it probably isn’t easy. Although I don’t think you can compare apples to apples given the courses and course set-ups will be very different, but it will be interesting to see how the scores compare after Evian is in the books.
This Week in Women’s Golf
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These two cruised to a team win at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational last week.
Some things to know ahead of the 2019 Evian Championship.
An airline asked this player if she could use a rental set of clubs after they lost hers.
Buckle up, folks. Here’s how you can watch the Evian Championship.
An Auburn alum won on the LPGA for the first time.
Looks like the courses at LPGA headquarters aren’t being bought for now.
Here’s more to the challenges that will come with back-to-back majors.
Celine Boutier is another name to watch out for on the Evian leaderboard.
This Irish golfer on the Symetra Tour is stoked for Shane Lowry’s win at The Open.
Cristie Kerr wants in on Solheim, so she’s switching things up at Evian.
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Jessica Korda
A Korda winning a major either this week or next week wouldn’t be a massive surprise. Jessica Korda is No. 15 in the Rolex World Rankings and a five-time LPGA winner. Last year at this major, she finished in a tie for eighth. See what she had to say on Tuesday about the week ahead.
How are you enjoying your time in France?
It’s obviously beautiful. I think the move to this time of year is going to be really positive. A lot warmer than we’re used to. But yeah, we landed yesterday afternoon and just tried to stay up as long as possible and try and sleep through the night. We played a practice round just to see the changes that they’ve made, have the pro-am tomorrow and hopefully go.
You’ve improved your performance in majors the last two years. What did you figure out?
Nothing. I’ve just been trying to apply the same things I’m applying in regular events. I play the same amount of practice rounds, I do the same amount of practice, I don’t add anything. I used to do a lot more at majors than a regular event. I’ve honestly just changed nothing. Just trying to hit fairways and hit greens, and make some putts if possible. I feel a little more relaxed coming out.
What are your thoughts on No. 18 now being a par 5 and what will your strategy be?
Hallelujah! I love 18 as a par 5. I played it here in 2011. I think it’s a great finishing hole. Bogey’s won’t be winning, which is what I love. It will be interesting. If you’re a shot back, you’re going for eagle. Hitting the fairway is still a huge goal. I haven’t played it yet as a par 5 but will tomorrow. Yeah, it’s going to be about hitting the fairway; a risk-reward type of deal…this is definitely the right move. I’m very happy.
What did you learn about playing with your sister last week at Dow?
If it was up to me, I’d play every single day with her. We had so much fun. We kind of figured out after the first four-ball, what we needed to do to play a little bit better. We didn’t argue at all, which was awesome. We had a lot of fun; had a lot of laughs. Even if I made a mistake or she made a mistake, we just said it was fine. I don’t think we made a bogey in four-ball…it’s something we hope for in Solheim, but obviously not our call.
What will it be like playing back-to-back majors especially after you played last week as well?
I played Grand Rapids, KPMG, Walmart—that was my first three-in-a row this year and felt really good. So that was my decision that I was going to play Dow. We were just waiting to see how I was going to feel and obviously, coming here we’ve played this golf course before so I knew I didn’t need to play 18 and play 18 and grind it out. If I got here in time, I could adjust quickly and be ready for the golf course just seeing how its playing versus the other years. With the weather too, there will be less guessing. It won’t be raining sideways and you’re getting blown over; guessing basically.