Date: February 01, 2017
Author: Martin Blake

Kid sister to step out of shadows in Adelaide

One of the quiet movers in the field for the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open is boom American young gun Nelly Korda, who is the younger sister of the 2012 winner, Jessica Korda.

Nelly Korda, 18, finished an eyebrow-raising  tied-fifth in her first start on the LPGA Tour in the Bahamas last weekend. Her first appearance as a professional included a 10-under par 63 in the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic.

As a result, her world ranking soared 89 spots to 249th and she picked up her first cheque, a cool $US52,000.

“Really excited,” Korda told last week. “I’m so happy to be out here.  It’s been my dream.  I was definitely nervous my first day and my first nine holes, and I’m glad I kind of got those nerves out of the way, and now I can play some golf. “

The teenager is the middle child of the Korda family, with father Petr having a strong connection to Australia as a former winner of the tennis Australian Open.

Nelly's path to the LPGA Tour came through the Symettra Tour in the United States.

Both sisters are in the field for Royal Adelaide this year after Jessica missed the event at The Grange in 2016.

Jessica Korda is a young veteran of the tour, and won a six-player playoff to take the Australian Open at Royal Melbourne in 2012. She is the world No. 28 and has won four events as a professional.

"Jess might get a little sick of me,” Nelly told when she qualified last year to join her sibling. “But we haven’t spent a lot of time together since she joined the LPGA in 2011. She’s my sister, but also definitely my best friend.”

The world's No. 1 and No. 2 players, Lydia Ko of New Zealand and Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, are in the field for Royal Adelaide as well as world No. 6, South Korea's Hana Jang and the world No. 8, Brooke Henderson of Canada. All the top Australian players including veteran Karrie Webb and Olympians Minjee Lee and Su Oh are out to win their national title.

The 2017 edition of the Open is the second of a three-year commitment to Adelaide's sandbelt courses, with the initial stanza at The Grange last year voted an overwhelming success.