RLANDO – It turns out Nelly Korda is just like the rest of us, wishing for a snapshot with one of her idols, Tiger Woods.
She jumped at the chance to do just that on Saturday, and the ecstatic scene behind the green at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club’s 18th hole was captured on camera with all the delectable details.
Korda, who is playing in the PNC Championship for the first time with her father, former tennis great Petr, underlined how special it would be to play not only in the same tournament as Tiger but also in the same group as him in the first round.
“It’s also really cool to play in front of Tiger Woods.” I’m not going to sugarcoat it. “I’m being a little selfish here,” she said, “but that’s cool.”
After shooting a 9-under 63 with dear old dad, Nelly waited for Team Woods to sign their scorecards before approaching Tiger as he was retrieving his personal belongings from his golf bag.
“Hello Tiger,” she says as if she’s a high school student approaching a famous crush and asking for a photo.
“Nelly!” he said, like if they’d known each other for years. “Yes! You figured it out! “The transaction is done!”
Nelly met Tiger for the first time. Her reaction says it all. 🤗 pic.twitter.com/Wn2yEFP42h
— PGA TOUR Champions (@ChampionsTour) December 18, 2021
With her confidence rising, Nelly made the ultimate fangirl move: she asked her brother, tennis pro Sebastian, who is ranked in the top 50 in the world, to join in. It’s no problem. Petr took the photograph, which will undoubtedly be treasured. It’s easy to picture Nelly pinning it to her bedroom wall.
Nelly is then asked if obtaining a photo with Tiger was fun.
“It’s a dream come true,” she exclaims.
“I suppose I became a little crimson,” she replied when asked about the incident on Sunday. It’s possible that you’re becoming red right now. No, as a kid, I had the opportunity to meet my hero. I met him the night before at a dinner, but it’s been such an amazing experience. I got to speak with him on the putting green before going out today, and I was completely enthralled. What he’s done for the game is extremely fantastic, and I appreciate it.”
Tiger will compete in the PNC Championship, his first competitive tournament since a single-car accident in February in Los Angeles, according to Nelly, who spoke about her reaction on Thursday.
“I was very taken aback when I received the news, especially given it was his first tournament back.” I mean, for him to come back from what he went through – was it February when he had his accident? “It’s incredible,” she exclaimed. “He’s made so many comebacks, and I feel like he always comes back more stronger, and not many people expect that.”
“However, he has done so much for golf.” Without him, we would not be where we are today. He brings with him an entirely new vibe.
I often claim that I don’t watch much golf, but when Tiger is in contention, I’m riveted to the television. So that’s his contribution to the game of golf. And just being on the same field as him will be quite amazing.”
Tiger was asked about Nelly after taking a selfie with the World No. 1 and Olympic gold champion. “She’s ascended so swiftly, and it’s really similar to Serena and Venus – once Serena got rolling, you can see Nelly doing the same thing.” She simply possesses that zeal, that inner drive. She looks a lot like her father. It’s just like her father, and it’s fun to see someone so young thrive as quickly as she has, and she’s earned it.”
First major championship, Olympic gold, and now a photo with Tiger Woods. The year of Nelly continues.