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After eventful past year, Nelly Korda returns to defend KPMG Women’s PGA

The past 52 weeks have been quite a whirlwind for Nelly Korda.

Since notching her first major win at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship one year ago, Korda, 23, won a gold medal in Tokyo, rose to No. 1 in the world and essentially became the face of women’s golf.

This past March, however, she was thrown a curveball.

Korda was diagnosed with a blood clot in her left arm, forcing a two-month hiatus from competition. Waiting until she was 100%, she returned at the U.S. Women’s Open and it looks like she hasn’t missed a beat.

Full-field tee times from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship

She recorded a T-8 at Pine Needles and then last week in her title defense at the Meijer LPGA Classic, she held the 54-hole lead, but fell to Jennifer Kupcho in a three-way playoff.

“Ever since I started hitting, it’s just been kind of full throttle, and I have been practicing pretty much — I have not taken more than two or three days off since then,” Korda, now the world No. 2, said Tuesday ahead of her Women’s PGA title defense.

“I’m just happy to be out here playing competitive golf. I gave myself a chance last week. If you told me that when I was laying in the ER, I would have definitely been very happy with that.”

After an eventful past year, Korda is back at the tournament where it all started. And she’ll look to use her experiences from the last 52 weeks to try and become the first player to successfully defend a women’s major since Inbee Park at the 2015 Women’s PGA.

"(The 2021 Women’s PGA) feels like forever ago, honestly,” she said. “I feel like the stars have to align for you to win just a regular event and for it to be a major championship as well. I feel like every time I put myself in contention and every single time I go out there on the golf course and play under pressure, I learn from it.

“I don’t think I’ve changed a bunch in the past year. In a sense, I think I’ve just become a little bit more consistent and confident that I can win a major championship.”