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25-year-old Nelly Korda seeks fifth LPGA win in a row

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Can anyone stop Nelly Korda? She is 25 years old, a pro golfer and on an epic streak, having won her last four tournaments in a row.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED SPORTSCASTER: And Nelly Korda is a winner again on the LPGA tour. She is dominating.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

A fifth consecutive win at this week's Chevron Championship would put Korda in lofty heights among the game's all-time greats. Only two other players in LPGA tour history have earned five wins in a row.

JUSTIN RAY: Throughout her career, she's always been one of the best drivers of the golf ball, one of the longest players on the LPGA tour. But the steps she's made with her approach game this season has really been what's elevated her to a new level in her career.

CHANG: Justin Ray is a golf analyst and head of content for the Twenty First Group. He says the difference this year with Nelly Korda is that she's hitting it so much closer to the hole than her opponents.

KELLY: Korda turned pro at the age of 18. She won gold at the Tokyo Olympics. And she's won 12 times on the LPGA tour.

CHANG: Justin Ray says Korda is showing that her game is maturing.

RAY: One of the criticisms of - if there were very many - of Nelly throughout early on in her career is that she was a little bit of a dome golfer. Where conditions are perfect, she could succeed, but then if things got adverse, maybe she would struggle a little bit. And she certainly dispelled that theory over the last several weeks.

KELLY: Over the past couple of years, Korda has had to overcome injuries that kept her off the golf course.

CHANG: She says she's aware of how hard the game can be and appreciates feeling better and being back to competing at her best.

NELLY KORDA: In 2021, I went on a run, and then in 2022 and 2023, golf really humbled me. So every athlete goes through the roller coaster. But that's what makes this sport so great. You mature. You grow so much, and you learn more about yourself.

KELLY: And in a nod perhaps both to Nelly Korda's own skill and the growth in general in interest and audience for women's sports, more of this weekend's tournament will be televised this year than last.

(SOUNDBITE OF ADEBISI SHANK'S "(-_-)") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Gus Contreras
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Justine Kenin
Justine Kenin is an editor on All Things Considered. She joined NPR in 1999 as an intern. Nothing makes her happier than getting a book in the right reader's hands – most especially her own.