GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda will make history Friday at the Solheim Cup.
For the first time in 16 editions, two sisters will pair together. The Kordas are actually the second set of siblings to be on the same team, following Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam in 1998, but the Sorenstams played with different partners. The Kordas will tee it up in the third match of the opening foursomes session opposite Caroline Masson and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.
“Hopefully it can be something great,” Jessica said of the sister pairing. “We'll see how everything turns out.”
Earlier this summer, the Kordas went to U.S. captain Juli Inkster and made their case on why they should pair together. Initially, Inkster wasn’t sold on the idea.
“And Jessica said, ‘Why don’t you see how we play in the Dow [team event] together; if we kill each other then maybe not put us together, but if we do OK, can you think about putting us together?’” Inkster said.
The Kordas survived, finishing the tournament in a share of 12th. Even though the format was stroke-play, the performance was enough to convince the American captain.
“The more I thought about it, it would be stupid not to play them,” Inkster said.
The Kordas, separated by five years, certainly have the potential to form quite the formidable duo. The 21-year-old Nelly is ranked 10th in the world while Jessica, making her second Cup appearance, is 18th. They also boast nearly identical games – they are long, hit greens and score (each are in the top 13 on the LPGA in scoring average).
And while their personalities are different, they are still sisters.
“We know what ticks one another off and we know how to calm each other down,” Nelly said.
Nelly is a rookie on this year’s American squad, but she has experienced being inside the ropes at a Solheim up before. When Jessica made her debut in 2013 in Colorado, Nelly was invited by U.S. captain Meg Mallon to be a part of the team.
“I was super grateful … was kind of like the team mascot that week, so I really got to experience everything, the environment. I actually got to go inside the locker room, too,” Nelly said. “I don't really remember a lot of details, but I had a lot of fun that week repping the USA.”
This time, Nelly will be representing her country for real, and with her sister right beside her.