Jessica Korda calls for better development program for American female golfers

Jessica Korda calls for better development program for American female golfers

LPGA Tour

Jessica Korda calls for better development program for American female golfers

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – Jessica Korda wants American golf authorities to do more to challenge Asia’s dominance of women’s golf.

Asians currently occupy seven of the top 10 spots in the Rolex Rankings. Korda, ranked ninth in the world, is one of just two Americans in the top 10. No. 5 Lexi Thompson is the other.

“They have a better development program for juniors,” Korda said. “They have a national team. They travel to different countries. One of the things that the U.S. doesn’t have is a national team, somebody to help the girls and boys kind of grow.

“There’s no like camps. Basically, kids play AJGAs in America to try and get into college. In Korea, I know that they have to play two years on the Korean LPGA before they even come to the States. So they’ve already been a pro before they come to our tour. So as you call them rookies, they’ve won, you know, like 10 times professionally.”

That’s a huge advantage, according to Korda.

“The American girls they might have played a year on the Symetra Tour or they’re fresh rookies,” Korda said. “That’s where I feel like the biggest disadvantage for a lot of American girls is there’s not a developmental program, a team of some sort to help them with their game. The USTA (United States Tennis Association) is doing a bunch of camps for tennis. They’re taking kids under their wings. Hopefully you’ll see more male and women’s tennis players kind of dominating the rankings coming up.

“I would definitely love to see something like that happen for golf.”

Korda is making her eighth appearance in the $3 million Ricoh Women’s British Open. She’s hoping this year goes better than last when she withdrew after one round because of a muscle tear in her forearm that ended up needing surgery.

The 25-year-old is fit this year. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand at the start of the season, one of four top 10s, including fourth in the ANA Inspiration and KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

The five-time LPGA winner’s best Women’s British finish is fifth in 2014. She has inside knowledge this year. Coach David Whelan played in the 2001 Open Championship at Lytham.

His advice? “Keep it in the fairway.”

Words of wisdom considering Royal Lytham has 167 pot bunkers.

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