While Jessica Korda won the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open last month on the LPGA Tour, her father and sometimes caddie Petr Korda won the 1998 Australian Open as a professional tennis player. Jessica finished regulation and went to 6-woman playoff. She did not have enough time to even think much about it before going to the playoff. She signed her scorecard and then went into the playoff where she was actually very relaxed and enjoyed the experience. If the LPGA Tour had sent all 6 out together instead of in two groups of three, she would not have known what to do because there would have been so many people which would have been very confusing. While winning certainly helped, she liked the way that the LPGA Tour did the playoff.
Her father Petr was very emotional to be Jessica’s caddie during the U.S. Women’s Open. As a parent, he takes a lot of pride in his daughter and it was very special to be with her at such a special experience. When he grew up in Eastern Europe, his upbringing was so different and in a lot of ways much more difficult so when he was raising Jessica, he made sure that she would be able to make her own decisions and he did his best to give her a better path. He came to the United States at the age of 15 for the first time and was blown away just by the size of the breakfast that was offered to him. He realized that he would be punished if he did not return to his home country of Czechoslovakia soon after the end of the tournament and he also realized the differences between a free nation and a communist nation.
Jessica feels very fortunate to be raised in the United States and growing up, she learned all about the horrors of the communist system so she truly appreciates what she has. She was born in and raised in Florida although when people meet her many of them think that she is from somewhere else – mostly Sweden or another European country.
Everyone has been so supportive of her since she won the Women’s Australian Open. Even the players she defeated in the playoff were very congratulatory of her accomplishment.Her father’s signature move was the scissor kick and Jessica said that she can do it as well and she did it after she won in Australia. Petr said that he truly enjoyed doing that move when he won and he took particular pride doing it when he won his Grand Slam titles in Doubles and Singles.
Jessica said that this win has opened up a lot of doors for her this year because she has gone from not knowing where she can play to having the ability to pick and choose her starts on the LPGA Tour. She turned 19 on February 27th and she is enjoying her last year as a teenager. Friends and family are the most important things to her and they have kept her grounded while she has had some great success.
Petr said that he has great respect for the people who are caddies for professional golfers because it is a lot of hard work not only physically but also mentally. He is having a lot more fun supporting Jessica from outside of the ropes and is happy to bring his wife along to the tournaments and cheer Jessica on. There are a couple of circumstances where he might be her caddie again, but for the most part he considers himself retired from caddying and he is now a full-time father when it comes to his daughter’s career.