Jessica Korda 'rookie' in name only at Evian Championship

Jessica Korda LPGA Tour return 2017 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Jessica Korda 'rookie' in name only at Evian Championship

LPGA Tour

Jessica Korda 'rookie' in name only at Evian Championship

EVIAN-LES-BAINS, France – Jessica Korda had trouble finding her locker on Wednesday at the Evian Championship, where she was the last player in the field to register. It has been so long since Korda competed on the LPGA that friends have taken to calling her “Rookie.”

She can joke about it now, but pulling out of the Ricoh Women’s British Open and then the Solheim Cup felt like a punch in the gut.

“I didn’t go outside,” said Korda, who holed up in the Czech Republic for two weeks. “I didn’t feel like doing anything. It was pretty bad.”

The injury to Korda’s left forearm flared up in Arkansas, and she played through pain for both the KPMG Women’s PGA and the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I couldn’t feel my entire arm for U.S. Open,” said Korda, who tied for 21st at Trump National Golf Club. She skipped the next two events in an effort to rest it before the Women’s British, but her uh-oh moment came early at Kingsbarns Golf Links and she reluctantly withdrew.

What she thought was a sprain was actually a tear, and while Korda might have been able to play a match or two at the Solheim Cup, one shot could’ve put an end to her entire season.

Korda made it home in time to watch her friends play on television. She phoned rookie Austin Ernst after her first match and asked if the Solheim Cup was everything she thought it would be.

“It was more,” Ernst replied.

Korda didn’t qualify for the Solheim Cup two years ago, but this was different.

“If I wouldn’t have made the team I would’ve sat on the couch and been happy for the girls like the last Solheim,” she said. “But the fact that I had played well enough to be on the Solheim and it being basically taken away, I think that was harder than anything else.”

Korda, who has played in only 15 events on the LPGA this year, made her return to action two weeks ago on the Korean LPGA at the Hanwha Finance Classic, where she tied for ninth, on limited practice.

She’s still hitting only a small number of balls and spending the bulk of her practice time on short game. Her upcoming schedule includes four stops in Asia and the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

“Now it’s just making sure I strengthen back up,” said Korda. “Basically I’m already getting ready for next year.”

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