Nelly Korda ‘all good’ after month off to nurse low back injury
Nelly Korda is pain-free and “all good” after nursing a low back injury as she gears up for the second major of the year – this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club.
“There’s a lot of torque in the golf swing, so I feel like I’m not the only golfer that kind of struggles with the low back,” the event’s 2021 champion said in her pre-tournament press conference. “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 hasn’t played since the Cognizant Founders Cup in mid-May, where she missed the cut after shooting a 2-over 146 through the first two rounds.
“When I got back from New Jersey, it didn’t feel right there,” she said. “When I got home, 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.”
Korda was cleared to return to play two weeks ago and started practicing a few days after that, so she’s had about a week and a half’s worth of prep leading into this major.
The KPMG Women’s PGA is the only major the 24-year-old has won to date. Earlier this year, at The Chevron Championship, she finished solo third. Taking a break has only stoked the world No. 2’s desire to add to her major trophy case.
“When you’re having to take a forced break in a sense, you appreciate the life a little bit more,” Korda reflected. “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.”
Korda enlisted a new swing instructor, Jason Baile, since her return, according to Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols. Baile is the director of instruction at Jupiter Hills Club in Florida.
“A couple of my sister’s friends work with him,” Korda told Nichols. “I heard he’s really good, so testing him out.”
In their brief time together, the pair has worked on setup, moving closer to the ball and shoulder follow through.
The split with her previous instructor, Jamie Mulligan, came down to time management and the two remain friends, Nichols reported.
Korda hasn’t won on tour this season, but she has six top-6 finishes in eight starts.
While Korda (and onlookers) will certainly be keeping an eye on her back, this isn’t new territory for the younger Korda sister, who has withdrawn from tournaments in the past with a similar concern. And then there’s the older Korda sister, Jessica, who recently announced an indefinite break while she tries to get her own back healthy.