Interview with Jessica Korda ahead of the Australian Open

The Rolex Rankings No. 24 from the USA tasted success on Melbourne´s sand belt in 2012 and made a great start to the year.


Jessica Korda, Rolex Rankings No. 24

THE MODERATOR:  Jess, you played this morning, you just got off the course literally, how was it?

JESSICA KORDA: It's in really good shape.  The greens are rolling really nice and I'm just really happy to be back on a golf course that I've seen before.

THE MODERATOR: You've played this course before in 2012?

JESSICA KORDA: That was last year, the LET after Gold Coast went to New Zealand and I stayed here in Melbourne and played here, the Royal and Metropolitan.

THE MODERATOR:  You've got fantastic memories of the Sand-belt after 2012 and you've had a great start in the Bahamas this year, you must be confident going into this week?

JESSICA KORDA: Yes, definitely, I mean, winning anywhere would give me a lot of confidence but the fact that I keep doing it outside of the United States is kind of bitter sweet.

Q. You got a great reaction in 2012? 

JESSICA KORDA:  Yeah, I've basically been coming over to Australia since I was a baby so definitely a place I love visiting.  I do feel a little bit like home, I kind of know my way around and just the people are so welcoming so it's hard not to feel like I'm at home.

Q. Were you surprised by the reaction after your win here?


Q.  Yes.

JESSICA KORDA:  Yes and no.  I knew that it was going to be big just because of the history and my dad winning and also being in Melbourne.  It definitely - it was very special to win here.  I think I'll hold it as one of my favorite events that ever happened in my life basically.

Q.  Jess, how do you feel about this style of golf that you have to play here, because it's obviously very different to a lot of the courses in America, probably more suits your style because I just noticed yesterday it's quite bouncy out there.  You're not going to be able to stop the ball, are you - not too easily anyway?

JESSICA KORDA: I mean, the good thing about here is that even if you can't stop it on the green, you can still kind of run it up there, run it close or definitely having good yardages this week is going to be very important and picking the right clubs and the right shots. Sometimes you're going to have to take a lower trajectory and run it in there.  Sometimes you're going to try and hit it high into the wind and kind of stop it on the green.  Honestly, it really just depends on the weather, how tough the golf course is going to play.

Q.  Jess, in a bit more detail, what did you make of your form last week?


Q.  Yes.

JESSICA KORDA: I played really well, I hit a lot of good shots, just a lot of putts didn't drop, which was tough and the greens were a little bit bouncy.  They're actually tearing the golf course up today or yesterday, yesterday and today they're ripping it all up, so it will be interesting to see what it looks like next year. 

I felt like I played really well, just a couple of odd bounces here and there.

 Q. Is it seen as a big boost to American golf to have another American winner?

JESSICA KORDA: I would hope so.  It's always good to see American flags on top of the leader board, being an American and hopefully inspiring some young girls to pick up the game of golf and give it a go and see if they like it or not.  Who knows what they're going to be in a couple of years' time.

Q.  Cheyenne, did she win earlier than you thought she would?  You must have played together?

JESSICA KORDA: I've never actually played golf with Cheyenne, I only know her kind of courteously saying hello and stuff like that.  It's good. It was very weird to see the name Woods on top of a leader board at a women's tournament, but it was nice.  It's good for her because I know what it's like to kind of have a big last name and for her to not let it define her was awesome.

Q.  Have you had a chance to have a word with her about that sort of connection?

JESSICA KORDA: No, I haven't seen anybody.

Q.  Would you try and have a word with her this week?

JESSICA KORDA: I don't think it's something that really comes up in conversation, that's more for you guys than us really.  We know who we are and we play our games, just like anybody else out there.

Q.  You just referenced seeing another American winner, it moved you up in the Rolex rankings, which means the win moved you up in the international Crown standings, do you think about that week in and week out or do you just kind of try to block it out?

JESSICA KORDA: I try and block it out as much as I can.  It's tough to move yourself up on Rolex rankings because it depends on how they rate the field, so it's nothing really that I can do.  If I have a good week I have a chance of getting knocked out by somebody from a different tournament.  So on that aspect it's definitely tough to kind of influence it but if I try and play as best as I can hopefully I move up.

Q.  You're a fiery competitor, we saw that at Solheim Cup especially.  What would it mean to you to make that team?

JESSICA KORDA: It's always a great honor to be representing the United States, wearing red, white and blue and kind of having your country on your shoulders basically. It's something that's basically indescribable.  You feel a lot of pressure but you feel a lot of excitement.  It's a lot of fun. It would be great to make it but it is going to be tough.

Q.  You're making some pretty big swing changes and it's already paid off with that win in the Bahamas.  How difficult is this, to make the swing changes yet also concentrate on putting together a good score now that the season's already started?

JESSICA KORDA: You know, we kind of implemented these swing changes also into my workouts, so I'd come off a golf course and go to the gym and kind of work on it there as well, which is very important for muscle memory.  Having golf related workouts is, I think, key as well, because you train the same muscles you would be using when you're playing.  I think that that's what helped me kind of transition the changes a little bit easier.  I still miss a lot of shots, it still creeps in.  It's going to take a while to really get it all out but I'm happy with the way it's going and we'll see.

Q.  Can you give us a précis of what the changes are all about, is it shot shape or trajectory?

JESSICA KORDA: No it's changing my swing plane actually.  I was very steep coming towards the ball and my hands were dropping behind me, which was putting a lot of pressure on my wrists and on my shoulders especially coming into different types of grasses.  It was really tough on my body and we're just changing the wing plane and making my posture better, change my grip.  So I mean there was basically just strip the whole game and build it back up from Ground Zero.

Article from Ladies European Tour:
Published: 11/02/2014

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