Korda hit hard by Women’s Am loss
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Jessica Korda walked into the media room following the USGA medal ceremony in a light-hearted mood. She seemed to take the loss well on the 18th green as well, smiling as she hugged Danielle Kang and various VIPs.
“Glad you didn’t see me right after the round,” said Korda. “I went straight to the locker room.”
U.S. Women’s Amateur (Finals)
Danielle Kang defeated Jessica Korda, 2 and 1, to win the U.S. Women's Amateur at Charlotte Country Club.
Then Korda’s voice cracked. The always upbeat 17-year-old reached for the “fizzy” drink she’d asked for and swallowed hard. She wanted this one badly.
“Danielle was just making birdie after birdie after birdie,” she said. “Birdies on top of my birdies. Birdies before my birdies. It was a birdie barrage.”
For the first time all week, Korda’s putter didn’t respond. An afternoon shower left spectators soaked clean through and the heat that followed was downright suffocating. The only thing cold on Sunday in Charlotte was Korda’s putter.
“I don’t know what the heck was wrong with it today,” she said.
As Korda relived her 35 holes with the media, she let her emotions show. There was frustration in her voice as she recounted all the missed birdie opportunities. When told she was 20 under for the week while Kang was 4 under, Korda looked at the reporter and deadpanned: “That feels really good, thank you.”
Korda was her bubbly self by interview’s end, joking about her upcoming high school plans. (She’s basically clueless about classes, credits and a graduation date.) Hers is a charming personality, one that is gracious even in defeat.
“I just need to learn how to relax under pressure,” she said.
This experience will be good for Korda, as she prepares for the pressure cooker of LPGA Q-School. No doubt her father/caddie/former tennis star will have insightful things to say to her once they’ve had time to cool off (literally) and decompress.
As Korda signed off from her time with reporters, she offered wise perspective for a teenage girl raised in a world of privilege: “You don’t get what you want always.”
Well said, kid.