Nelly Korda 'A Little Bit More Hungry' After Enforced Injury Break

Nelly Korda returns to action at the Women's PGA Championship this week hungry for success after her recent injury break

Nelly Korda
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Nelly Korda says her enforced break from golf to rest her back injury has just made her even more hungry as she looks to win a second Major at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship.

Korda has been out since May after being told to rest a lower back problem and prevent it from getting worse, but is back in action at Baltusrol and among the favourites for the Women's PGA Championship.

The 2021 Women's PGA Championship winner says being forced to sit out has made her appreciate her golfing life even more - and is hungry to get back to competing.

"When it's kind of taken away from you when you're having to take a forced break in a sense, you appreciate the life a little bit more," said Korda. 

"I feel like I love the game of golf. I love competing. I have so much fun doing this and traveling. It just makes me appreciate it more. A little bit more hungry.

"I just talked with my doctor, and he recommended that I just take a couple weeks off to just rest it before something else kind of flares up from it.

"It's just low back. There's a lot of torque in the golf swing, so I fell like I'm not the only golfer that kind of struggles with the low back.

"Also when you're traveling four weeks in a row, different beds, flying out right after your round. Sometimes you just tweak it and you just need to take rest."

Korda says Baltusrol Golf Club is an amazing course to play the Women's PGA Championship on, with finding fairways a must in order to conquer such a long and tough test.

"The first four holes are very crucial," she added. "I think if you get through the first four in even, I think that's a very big goal for the week is getting through the first four holes, and they're big, monstrous kind of holes.

"I know the first hole is typically a par-5 for the members and it's a pretty long par-4 for us. Then 2 is a very positional hole. 3 is also a pretty long hole. Then 4, obviously, that's kind of the signature hole over the water.

"The first four holes are pretty crucial, but overall I think the golf course is very strong. The par-3s are pretty long, and it's going to be a pretty interesting test this week. It's an amazing golf course."

'Zhang really good for women's golf'

Rose Zhang at the 2023 Mizuho Americas Open

Rose Zhang won the 2023 Mizuho Americas Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

A big talking point this week will be Rose Zhang playing in her first Major as a pro, after winning her first tournament as a professional - and Korda is expecting her to challenge for years to come.

"I think it's great," Korda said of Zhang. "It was amazing to see that she won her first week out as a professional. I think it's going to be really good for women's golf. Hopefully we have some great battles coming down the stretch over the years.

"Honestly, if I'm being completely honest, I haven't seen her play at all. I'm sure I'll see it now a lot, so maybe in a couple events if we're paired together, I'll give you my opinion. 

"But I'm sure - she had an amazing junior career, college career, and she's gotten off to a really hot start, so I'm sure all parts of her game are really good."

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.