Younger Korda looks to imitate sister’s success

ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – From a fairway away, Nelly Korda easily could pass for older sister Jessica. From the long blond hair to the tall and lean frame to the presence of dad Petr on her golf bag, Nelly might be considered the fun-sized version of the young pro.

And she’s perfectly OK with that.

At the tender age of 12, the younger Korda beams and says thank you when told of the similarities to her older sister. It’s a line she must hear often, and after hours logged in Jessica’s galleries, Nelly seems to appreciate exactly what that means.

“These past three years, I’ve been watching her – U.S. Open, everything,” Nelly said. “I’ve been watching her a lot.”

Drawing one of the biggest crowds of the day at Oceanside Country Club, Nelly put up a 3-over 75 in a cold wind at the South Atlantic Amateur. Struggling with a high ball flight that continually got caught in the breeze, Nelly managed to put a rough front nine behind her and log four birdies on the back. At 16-over 232 through 54 holes, she stands in a tie for 14th entering Saturday’s final round.

With Jessica’s name among those lining the entrance at Oceanside – including Patty Berg, Babe Zaharias and Vicki Goetze – Nelly has made it a goal to add her name to that list.

“I want to win this tournament,” she said – if not this year then some year.

As to whether Jessica will show up in her gallery for the final round, Nelly isn’t sure. Since turning professional immediately after a runner-up finish at LPGA Q-School in December, Jessica has been busy with practice and school. Now that Nelly is 12, the minimum age to compete in AJGA events, her tournament schedule looks to pick up considerably.

In other words, there will be plenty of opportunities for big sis to return the favor.

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