ORLANDO, FLORIDA – This week, the Korda sisters have a running gag.
“Jess and I were joking that she’s defending, but I’m also defending this week,” said Nelly, who won the Gainbridge LPGA last year at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, where the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions is being held this week.
Jessica won the later event, which was held at Tranquilo Golf Club, about a half-hour drive from Lake Nona, when it was still sponsored by Diamond Resorts. But when it comes to the player to beat, Nelly – who won five times, including her maiden major and Olympic gold, her route to become the world’s No. 1 – is the betting favorite heading into Thursday’s first round.
Jessica, who won a playoff at last year’s TOC before sharing 31st at the Gainbridge the following week, stated, “I told my sister she’s defending this week.” “I was like, ‘This is where you won,'” she explained. I think I did okay here last time, so perhaps, with some of my previous experience, I’ll be able to improve this week.”
Jessica is no stranger to defending titles over a variety of courses. She’s only defended two of her six LPGA victories on the same course. She also won the 2012 Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne, which does not take place every year. She also skipped the Honda LPGA Thailand after winning the tournament in 2018.
The fact that this is the first game of the season lessens the significance of being the reigning champion, according to Jessica, who acknowledges she didn’t get much playing time during the two-month summer. (During that time, she also married.)
She explained, “This is the first tournament of the year.” “It’s a bit of a free-for-all, so we’ll see what happens.”