PHOENIX – The LPGA’s Sister Act is a proving a pretty good show.
On Friday, Jessica Korda made a hard run up the leaderboard to get into contention at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.
On Saturday, her younger sister, Nelly, made her own big move.
With an 8-under-par 64, Nelly was tied for the lead with Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko when she signed her scorecard, but she ended up five back of Anna Nordqvist (61) at day’s end. Jessica (70) is three shots behind Nelly.
Nelly, 18, was asked if there’s an ongoing battle for bragging rights with Jessica, 24, this year. Nelly doesn’t see it that way.
“She’s definitely my best friend,” Nelly said. “She’s my go to, practically.”
They help each other with their swings.
“It’s always been my dream to play alongside my sister and the best players in the world,” Nelly said. “Just seeing my name up there with Lydia Ko today, I couldn’t have imagined that a year ago.”
Nelly made an impressive LPGA rookie debut at the season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic in January, tying for fifth. Jessica, who won the Pure Silk Bahamas three years ago, tied for 16th there this year. That’s the only other event they have played together this season.
“We haven’t been able to spend a lot of time together yet,” Jessica said. “Next week is going to be the first week this year where we actually travel together and stay together.”
Jessica said Nelly’s welcome to travel with her, but she also sees the need for Nelly to have her own space.
“She’s a rookie,” Jessica said. “I want her to be herself. I just try to be her friend.”
Jessica is looking forward to rooming with Nelly at the Kia Classic.
“Tour life can be really lonely, and the fact that I can have my little sister out with me is really nice,” Jessica said.