SOUTHERN PINES, North Carolina – It started as a funny feeling in her arm. Nelly Korda, who was in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, on March 11 for a photoshoot and commercial appearance, listened to her body, went to the ER for an ultrasound and, after finding a specialist in Sarasota, Florida, underwent surgery for a blood clot in a subclavian vein in her left arm. She’s fuzzy on the exact date of surgery, but lei first posted about it on social media on April 8.
A Tuesday morning press conference at the 77th US Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina, marked her first time in front of the media since the health scare occurred.
“Obviously I did a lot, a lot of rehab,” she said, “went actually out to California for a month, did rehab there, worked with my coach Jamie Mulligan. Wanted him to be there for when I first started hitting balls. “
When asked if doctors had given her any indication on the cause of the blood clot, Korda said yes, but that she’d like to keep that information private.
Korda, 23, last teed it up on the LPGA in early February at the LPGA Drive On Championship. She finished T-15, T-20, and T-4 in three starts this season and missed the first major of the year.
This will be Korda’s eighth US Women’s Open appearance. She has missed the cut in her last two USWO starts. Her best finish di lei, a share of 10th, came in 2018 at Shoal Creek. She’s taking a grateful approach to this week, noting that she’s “not expecting too much.”
Korda, who is wearing a compression sleeve on her left arm, said rehab consisted mostly of back and shoulder exercises. She’s been struggling with shoulder issues for a year now.
“I kind of just made sure that I was ready and 100 percent going into my comeback,” she said, “and I didn’t really want to rush it or anything. I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t going to have any issues, even if it was just with like a little bit of my shoulder bugging me coming back in. “
Korda won four times on the LPGA in 2021 as well as Olympic gold in Tokyo and was named Female Player of the Year by the Golf Writers Association of America. She’s currently No. 2 in the world.
Korda missed being on tour so much, that the only time she watched LPGA coverage on TV was when big sister Jessica contended on Sunday at the Chevron Championship.
“That one hurt a lot just because it was the last event,” she said, “the last time there.”
She began hitting balls again around the Palos Verdes Championship in late April, starting out slow at 60 percent, hitting her 8-iron around 100 yards to see how her arm felt. Once she got the clearance from her doctor, she was “good to go.”
“As I got closer to this week,” she said, “I started finally hitting it a little longer. I think the juices started flowing a little bit more, but I’m so happy to be out here. I’ve missed everyone, and I’m just grateful. “