Nelly Korda will be a pivotal player for the USA in the 18th edition of the Solheim Cup, hoping to turn individual form into success at the third attempt. We spoke to her ahead of her appearance in Spain.
Which aspect of this year’s event are you most excited about?
Representing my country is so much fun. I’ve been lucky enough to play in two Solheim Cups already, although I have now been on the losing team twice! So, I’m hopeful we can bring it back to the US; that would be nice. The experience is really enjoyable, not only for yourself but also for your team and your country. It’s a unique experience; there’s nothing quite like it. The crowds are chanting and creating a completely chaotic, crazy and fun energy.
When you mention the crowds and the incredible energy of the match, how do you actually control your emotions on the course?
I’m pretty composed out there and I don’t show too much emotion. Growing up in a tennis family, I admire Roger Federer’s demeanour, but I also appreciate the grit and fight of Rafael Nadal. In golf, you really have to control your emotions, as it’s not about running around but maintaining focus and managing your heart rate to stay fully committed to each shot. I’m very tame – if you see me throw out a fist bump, it’s usually because I’m in contention on the back nine on Sunday! But during the Solheim Cup, I do feel a bit more energised because it’s such a fun and different experience. It seems to bring out more enthusiasm in me.
Given that Europe has defeated the US team on the last two occasions, do you perceive this upcoming match as a ‘must win’ for Team USA to turn things around and restore a bit of balance?
Honestly, I don’t think there’s ever a must. There’s a want. You know you are going to come in and bring 100 per cent of yourself, and I think all of us do that every single match. And if that’s not enough, unfortunately, that sucks. But all of us give 110 per cent and that’s what I do in every event I play.
How do you feel about the presence of Solheim Cup rookies on…