TThe key to the success of the Solheim European Cup this weekend may lie in stopping just one family. In 2019, the Korda sisters caused a sensation at the biennial event. Jessica and Nelly, the first sisters to be paired together in the competition, achieved victory together in their two foursome outings before winning their individual matches. The United States fell in a painful defeat at Gleneagles, but the Kordas emerged as one of the most formidable duos in team golf. Two years later, Nelly has a great victory and an Olympic gold medal to her name. Catriona Matthew, the captain of Europe, suggested rather devilishly that this could put pressure on the 23-year-old, a notion that is not publicly accepted.
“There are definitely a lot of people trying to put it in my head, sure,” Nelly said. “I am quite calm. I just try to go unnoticed and do my thing, be as well prepared as possible, have fun starting on Saturday and hopefully score some points and have fun with my teammates.
“We are on our ground, so obviously the crowd supports you. There are more eyes on Team USA, but we are all embracing this. It is fun. Honestly, there is nothing like a Solheim Cup, the crowds, the energy, the enthusiasm that we all have, especially what comes Saturday morning.
“So I don’t know if there is more pressure because they are defending. In a sense, I feel like we are not the favorites because they are the ones defending. I think we are all embracing this moment and are ready for Saturday. “
The sight of Jessica and Nelly as partners during a practice session Thursday morning at the Inverness Club was no surprise. They will almost certainly be combined in a foursome once again, with the intrigue surrounding whether they can also be partners in all four balls. “We leave a lot of that to the captains,” Jessica said. “We are here for the team and in whatever way we can contribute, obviously we will do the best we can. This is a completely different golf course, a different team, a different year, so we will do our best to see what we have and enjoy while we do it. “
The fact that Nelly competes in the Solheim Cup as the number one in the world is an obvious boost for the competition. For so long, the fact that the women’s golf rankings were dominated by Korean players undermined the value of this clash for some people. Jessica, the 18th in the world, is now the fifth American in the ranking. “Ultimately, we are trying to showcase women’s golf at the highest level and what better opportunity do we have than here?” she asked. “Everything that has been set up this week is bigger and better, so we’re going to try to elevate ourselves to that as well.”
A ray of hope for Matthew and the European contingent echoes in Nelly Korda’s obvious potential for fatigue. She hinted at that during the Carnoustie Women’s Open last month and again here in Ohio. “Was [the] Evian [Championship], then it was the Olympics, British [Open] and Solheim, so it’s almost four majors in a row, “said Nelly. “So it’s definitely been a lot of travel. It has been frantic. But I loved every minute of it. It has been a surreal year so far and I hope we can do even better this week. “
There has been a familiar face across camp in the US Bubba Watson, the two-time Masters champion, appears to have taken on unofficial vice-captaincy roles for Pat Hurst. “Bubba called a couple of weeks ago just to help women’s golf,” Hurst said. “He has a wife, he has a daughter, he loves golf and he just wants to support women’s golf. And then I was totally in favor. I asked the attendees. Everyone was in favor and it has been great.
“It’s been a lot of fun having him in the locker room listening to his opinion on a lot of things, and a lot of times we have to tell him, ‘Hey, men and women are a little different.’ I think you are definitely seeing it. His presence is huge. “
However, it would be a shame for Watson to divert the focus from the real stars of this particular show. See: N and J Korda.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism