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Korda, Vu, Zhang getting ready for Paris on the Amundi Evian Championship


A lot of the world’s finest girls golfers are competing on this week’s Amundi Evian Championship, the fourth main championship of the season, and for a lot of, it will not be their solely journey to France this summer season.

Sixty golfers will return to Paris on Aug. 7-10 for the ladies’s Olympic golf competitors at Le Golf Nationwide, the positioning of the 2018 Ryder Cup. Former Duke star Celine Boutier, the defending Amundi Evian Championship winner, will characterize France within the Olympics.

Every of the highest 10 gamers within the Rolex Girls’s World Golf Rankings certified for the Olympics, together with world No. 1 Nelly Korda, No. 2 Lilia Vu and No. 8 Rose Zhang, who will all characterize the U.S.

“Gosh, I am so excited,” Korda mentioned. “Any time I get to characterize my nation it is simply such a extremely huge honor. To get to do this on the Olympics goes to be an incredible expertise once more. Attending to do it in Paris, possibly this yr getting to observe a pair sports activities that we did not get to do in Japan and Tokyo.”

Korda, 25, is the defending gold medalist after ending 17-under 267 on the Tokyo Olympics in August 2021. She completed one shot higher than Japan’s Mone Inami and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko. Inami defeated Ko in a sudden-death playoff to say the silver medal.

Korda battled the rain, warmth and humidity to turn out to be the primary U.S. lady to seize a gold medal since Margaret Abbott gained on the Paris Olympics in 1900. Golf wasn’t included within the Olympics from 1904 to 2012.

In Tokyo, Korda’s sister Jessica carded a 7-under 64 for the low rating of the ultimate spherical and tied for fifteenth. Jessica Korda hasn’t competed on the LPGA Tour since Might 2023 after coping with a again damage. The six-time LPGA winner gave beginning to her first baby, a son named Greyson, in February.

“It’ll be just a little unhappy not attending to go along with my sister,” Nelly Korda mentioned. “I feel that is what was so particular about 2021, was attending to share that have with Jess. However, yeah, I am simply actually excited to characterize the USA on the Olympics once more.”

Korda retains her gold medal on a shelf in her workplace. Her mom, Regina Rajchrtová, competed in tennis for Czechoslovakia on the 1988 Summer season Olympics in Seoul. Her father, Petr Korda, was ranked as excessive as No. 2 on the earth and gained the 1998 Australian Open. Her brother, Sebastian, can be an expert tennis participant.

“It was by no means actually a dream for me as a result of it was by no means a actuality till 2016 when golf was launched again into the Olympics,” Nelly mentioned. “It was one thing each 4 years and even two years. We did love watching the Winter Video games as nicely that all of us watched as a household. Again then it was simply my mother that obtained to characterize her nation.”

This week, Korda hopes to show issues round after lacking three straight cuts, together with at two majors — the U.S. Girls’s Open and the KPMG Girls’s PGA Championship. Earlier than that, she had gained six instances in seven begins.

“I feel I’ve gone by each emotion attainable, and it is simply July, on the golf course,” Korda mentioned. “You understand, I really like this recreation. I really like the dangerous, I really like the nice. The dangerous makes you recognize the nice and that is simply how it’s. It is sports activities. If you happen to care so deeply about it, you are simply going to undergo the wave of the curler coaster.”

Including to Korda’s troublesome stretch was an unlucky episode during which she was bitten on her leg by a canine at a espresso store in Seattle on June 22. She did not reveal a lot about her damage throughout a information convention in France on Wednesday, aside from saying the wound is “getting higher.”

Zhang, 21, was competing at Stanford in Might 2023 and has already gained twice on the LPGA Tour, most not too long ago on the Cognizant Founders Cup in Might. In lower than two full seasons on tour, Zhang can have represented the U.S. on the Solheim Cup in Spain and now the Olympics.

“It was virtually mind-boggling as a result of I watched the Olympics ever since I used to be an itty-bitty individual,” Zhang mentioned. “I watched all of the totally different occasions — gymnastics, swimming, monitor and discipline — and now calling myself an Olympian isn’t one thing that I’ve ever considered earlier than simply because it was to this point into the long run.”

Vu, whose 5 victories on the LPGA Tour the previous two seasons embrace majors on the Chevron Championship and AIG Girls’s Open in 2023, will not need to look far for inspiration on the Olympics.

Her late grandfather, Dinh Du, constructed a 32-foot boat to flee the Mekong Delta area after the top of the Vietnam Struggle. In 1982, Du and his spouse, Hongyen Dao, and their 5 kids fled Vietnam with 76 others on the wood vessel.

When the boat began taking up water after three days at sea, Vu’s grandfather fired their solely flare as a misery sign. Miraculously, they had been rescued by a passing U.S. vessel. The household finally made its technique to the U.S. and settled in Southern California.

Vu, who performed at UCLA, struggled as an LPGA Tour rookie and misplaced her card after the 2009 season. She tried to work her manner again on the Epson Tour and practically gave up the sport. She credit her grandfather for serving to her flip her recreation round. When she visited him within the hospital, he advised her: “Go play nicely. Do your finest.”

Du died March 9, 2020.

A missed minimize on the 2022 Amundi Evian Championship proved to be a turning level in her profession.

“I felt like simply not in a superb place,” Vu mentioned. “I used to be actually laborious on myself and upset with how I performed. I felt like I did not dwell as much as form of what I see myself as. And so I bear in mind being within the resort and I am like, ‘I should not take into consideration golf this manner. Anybody would like to be in my place and to play at Evian.’ I modified my perspective for the remaining tournaments and simply tried to have enjoyable out right here and recognize the place I am at.”

Vu’s breakthrough LPGA season got here final yr when she gained 4 instances. She added a fifth victory on the Meijer LPGA Traditional in Belmont, Michigan, on June 16.

She’ll be desirous about her late grandfather on the Olympics subsequent month.

“It means the world,” Vu mentioned. “It implies that hopefully my grandpa did not construct that boat for nothing, and I will do one thing with the life he gave all of us, and I am by no means going to cease attempting my finest.”

Sarah Thompson
Sarah Thompsonhttp://usdailysports.com
Sarah Thompson, an expert in tennis and golf, has covered numerous Grand Slam tournaments and PGA Tours. Her sharp analysis and player insights are a staple of her reporting. Sarah loves playing recreational tennis and is an avid golfer who enjoys weekend rounds with friends.

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