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Annika Sorenstam is a 'big fan' of Nelly Korda; not surprised at breakout year

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Annika Sorenstam has taken notice of world No. 1 Nelly Korda, who is exciting the women's game even quicker than Sorenstam once did. 

Sorenstam didn't win her first of 10 majors and 72 LPGA events until the 1995 U.S. Women's Open when she was 24 years old. Korda, however, is already a seven-time LPGA winner and a major champion at 23 years old. 

And in an interview with Forbes, Sorenstam said she's a "big fan" of Korda and believes she's just getting started in her young career. 

“Nelly really did have a breakout year, and yet it was not a surprise," she said. "Most people, I think, were wondering when it was going to happen because it’s easy to get impressed by Nelly.”

In 2021, Korda won her first major at the KMPG Women's PGA Championship in Atlanta. She also claimed three additional LPGA wins, 10 top 10s and Olympic gold in Tokyo. 

The 5 foot 10 Korda led LPGA in scoring average (68.77) and rounds in the 60s (39) while being second in rounds under par (50) seventh in average driving distance (275.12 yards). 

“She’s a tall athlete with a beautiful, powerful swing," Sorenstam said. "She hits it hard and long and she has that going for her off the tee. But then, you see her around the greens, and that she has great technique and great feel.”

The Swede believes that once Korda established herself as a star, she had the proper mindset to compliment her tantalizing talent. 

“I think a lot of it was just confidence, or growing up and trusting herself, and her ability,” she said. “Once everything clicks, it becomes easier to do it all again, each time."

The 51-year-old thinks that the young American will continue to shine. And if Sorenstam accepts her invitation to next year's U.S. Women's Open, which was given to her after she won the '21 senior women's open, the world might get a chance to see the two compete against each other on one of the sport's biggest stages.