After Met Gala appearance, Nelly Korda wants to grow game naturally – with her game

Nelly Korda’s five-win run on the LPGA has included plenty of firsts, including Korda’s first spray tan.

“I couldn’t show everyone my lovely, permanent sock tan,” Korda quipped Wednesday ahead of this week’s Cognizant Founders Cup, where Korda will look to become the first player in LPGA history to win six straight events.

Two nights earlier, Korda was a guest of Casey Wasserman, CEO of the agency that represents Korda, at the annual Met Gala, a star-studded fundraiser in New York City. It was there that Korda mingled with celebrities from across multiple industries, all showing off the latest from some of the world’s greatest fashion designers.

Attending the prestigious event was a childhood dream come true, says Korda, who revealed that she tried on a couple Oscar de la Renta, decided on one and then 20 minutes before she was supposed to begin getting ready switched to a different dress.

“I had to completely change my entire look,” Korda said. “I was going to go with a long-sleeve gown, so I was going to have my hair up. Then I saw this amazing red dress and I just changed my entire look probably 20 minutes before I started to get ready. Switched it up on everyone.”

Korda then looked down at her golf attire.

This is my comfort zone,” she added. “It was really, really neat to step outside of my comfort zone and do something like that. That was my first time ever walking a red carpet and went out with a bang. I think it’s just downhill from here.”

As a self-described “grain of sand in such a big, big room,” Korda said she was especially starstruck by Shakira. She also had Jaden Smith come up and introduce himself.

“You’re standing in line ready to get on the carpet, and you’re like seeing all these people you usually watch in TV shows or movies, and they’re like famous singers and you’re starstruck the entire time,’” Korda said. “It’s the best people watching for me. I was just silent looking at everyone’s dresses.”

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Korda is trying to stand alone in LPGA history with six wins in as many starts.

Now, it’s back to reality for Korda, who is tied with Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam for the LPGA record for consecutive victories. She hasn’t competed since winning the Chevron Championship, taking the past two weeks off to recharge. She said she slept nearly 10 hours the first few nights back home in Bradenton, Florida, before ramping up her training last week. She also spent some time last weekend at the AJGA event she hosts at Concession Golf Club, capping a busy break that has given Korda little chance to think about the history that’s at stake this week at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey.

“What was crazy to me is there was this one girl that was warming up on the range with a TrackMan,” Korda said. “I was like, I don’t remember any of this in junior golf. … It’s pretty incredible and amazing to see how dedicated the girls are at a really, really young age as well.”

The 25-year-old Korda, not that far removed from junior golf herself, surely is inspiring all those young girls right now. In her mind, though, she’s not trying to do anything special.

“I’m just out here doing what I love and hopefully that’s what grows the game naturally,” Korda said. “I’m not trying to push anything. I hope that people see me for who I am, and I love this game and doing it naturally.

“At the end of the day, I think if you perform well in your sport, that’s what grabs people’s attention.”

After a night of turning heads with her fashion, Korda is back to letting her clubs do the talking.

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