‘Nelly Does Have A Responsibility’ – Former World No.1 Says Korda Has To Help Push Women’s Golf Forward

Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis says Nelly Korda has a job to do to try and grow the women's game from her position as the dominant force in the sport

Nelly Korda
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Although Nelly Korda may be a reluctant heroine for women’s golf, she has a responsibility to help propel the game to new heights, according to Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis.

Korda is the leading light in the women’s game and is doing extraordinary things having won four tournaments in a row ahead of the first Major of the season at the Chevron Championship.

And after another fine start, Korda is just two shots off the lead in Texas and looming ominously in her bid to make it five in a row.

The World No.1 is being championed as her sport’s Caitlin Clark, the college superstar who has elevated women’s basketball to another level during her stellar spell. 

If Korda can continue to dominate that could well start to attract more headlines and therefore more eyeballs on her sport – something she’s well aware of after already voicing her opinion on the lack of TV airtime women’s golf gets.

Korda also has a part to play off the course too, with Lewis saying as the top player in the world she has a responsibility to help spread the word by doing as much media as possible as well as performing wonders on the course.

“You know, I think Nelly does have a responsibility, and she probably doesn't always want it, just knowing her,” said Lewis on how Korda can help grow the game.

“But it's saying, yes. Continuing to play great golf though is number one. That's what helps our tour the most is her playing great golf. I would tell her, is to remember that.”

Lewis agreed with Korda’s take on women’s golf not being shown on TV enough, and thinks the Olympic champion can help press their sport's claims for more coverage.

“I would tell her to do as much extra stuff as you can for us,” Lewis added. “We got to continue to push our TV partners to help us get more coverage. I was disappointed to not see that entire match on Sunday on TV. 

Stacy Lewis and Nelly Korda

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“I just felt like you're really probably looking at a twosome, three to three and a half hours of golf, and I was really disappointed we didn't get that entire match on TV.

“So those little things like that we have to push. We have to push out partners to say, how can we make this happen. It's getting creative. Maybe changing tee timing, playing earlier, later, whatever it is. We got to figure out a way to be more visible.”

Lewis has also been World No.1 during her career so knows the added media duties that accompany that position – but giving extra time to the press is something Korda will have to do to elevate herself and her sport.

“Well, I mean, every week she needs to be in here talking about it and how good she's playing,” Lewis said. “I don't know what that's going to be, what that looks like for you.

“I've been in her shoes. I've been the No. 1 in the world and top American, and you're asked to do a lot of things. But give the media a couple hours every week. That's what she's going to have to start doing.

“Like I said, her playing great golf, that's what pushes us more forward than anything.” 

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.