Nelly Korda isn’t thinking about executing a scissors kick Down Under just yet, but it would be a terrific story.
A Korda sweep looms as a possibility at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open after Nelly posted a 5-under-par 67 Saturday to take the lead in Adelaide. She’s seeking to become the fourth family member to win an Open in Australia. Her father, Petr, got it started winning the Australian Open in tennis in 1998 and celebrated with his trademark scissors kick. After Nelly’s sister, Jessica, won the Women’s Australian Open golf event in 2012, she duplicated her father’s scissors kick. So did Sebastian, Nelly’s brother, when he won the Australian Open boys’ single title in tennis last year.
“I'm not even going to think about it,” Nelly said. “If it happens, great. There's still so much golf to be played. Just going to take it shot by shot.”
The Korda name means something special in Australia, where Nelly is getting a lot of support this week.
“I love it out here,” Korda said. “Australia is probably my second favorite country.”
Korda, 20, didn’t see her father win that first Australian Open, but she was there, with her mother, Regina.
“I was in my mom's belly,” Korda said.
At week’s start, Nelly was asked about trying to complete the Korda sweep.
“I feel so left out,” she cracked.
At home, she says there’s some good-natured teasing about it.
“They're like 'Oh, you know, we all have Australian Open titles,'” Nelly said. “I'm like, OK.
“I don't really put too much pressure on myself. If it happens, it happens. I'm going to go out and try my best.”
Korda is seeking her second LPGA title. She broke through to win the Swinging Skirts Taiwan Championship last October, moving the Korda sisters into elite company. They joined Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam and Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn as the only sister combos in history to win LPGA titles.
At No. 16 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, Nelly is poised to make a move into the top 10. Jessica, who is recovering from a forearm injury, is No. 12 in the world. Nelly is also in position to bolster her place in the U.S. Solheim Cup standings as she bids to make the team for the first time this year. Jessica is looking to make the team for the second time.
The Korda sisters are both in strong positions to make the American team traveling to Scotland in September. Nelly is second on the U.S. points list; Jessica is fourth.
“It would be really cool to represent my country, but as I’ve said before, I'm just going to take it shot by shot and see how it goes,” Nelly said. “If I'm selected, then that will be great. It's a huge honor, and it would be a lot of fun.”