Jessica Korda is a professional American golfer who currently plays on the LPGA Tour. Born on the 27 February 1983 in the Czech Republic to professional Tennis player Czech parents, Korda is the definition of the humble American dream.
Although Korda is currently sitting at the top of the money list, given that her sister, Nelly Korda also takes part in the same golfing tournaments as her, she’s got some competition.
Up until she was 15 years old, Korda lived and played golf in the Czech Republic until her and her family moved to the United States in 2008, where the golf didn’t change, but the flag she played under did. During her early years in the game, Korda played golf with her dad, former Tennis professional Petr Korda, which he used to describe as a retirement sport, that was of course until both his daughters found success in the sport. The dad and daughter duo used to play at the same club in their home country, where they worked with Jonathan Yarwood who coached the winner of the 2005 US Open Michael Campbell.
During her amateur career, the 27-year-old made the cut for the 2008 and 2009 US Open and she even finished at an impressive 19th place at the 2008 tournament when she was just 15. Two years later in 2010 Korda won the South Atlantic Amateur and she also finished runner-up at the US Women’s Amateur, where fellow American Daniella Kang beat her to the top spot at the Charlotte Country Club in North Carolina.
At the end of 2010, Korda entered the LPGA Tour Qualifying School when she was a 17-year-old which is notorious for being a difficult way for gaining a place on the tour, with many professional players who take part failing to keep up with the elite and competitive level of the school. However, although the Florida resident didn’t finish first, she did finish runner up in the final Qualifying Tournament, which enabled her to gain full membership on the LPGA Tour in 2011.
While most 18-year-olds in the UK are out celebrating their ability to legally buy alcohol on their birthday, Korda was into her second event on the LPGA Tour as a professional golfer when she turned 18. During her first year, or rookie year, the 27-year-old played in 15 events, with her best finish being 19th place at the Avnet LPGA Classic. Even though she got to play a lot of golf that year, she has revealed that her rookie year was miserable. She admits that playing constantly was a great way to further learn the game but she wasn’t making a lot of money during that time.
Korda’s first professional win came in the form of the Women’s Australian Open in February 2012, which was the first event of the season. Her win came off the back of a six person playoff which included players such as Paraguayan Julieta Granada and US born Stacy Lewis , where she won on the second hole.
Her second LPGA Tour win came just two years later when she finished one shot ahead of Stacy Lewis at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic in January 2014, where she won $195,000 for her victory. Then four months later Korda won on the LPGA Tour again at the Airbus LPGA Classic in May, the last time this tournament which took place in Alabama, USA would appear on the tour.
In October 2015, the Czech born golfer won the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia competition which took place in Kuala Lumpur. Korda won by four strokes, beating Chinese national Shanshan Feng, Australian Lydia Ko and Stacy Lewis.
It would be another three years until Korda won another tournament, which came in the form of the Honda LPGA Thailand in February 2018. The 27-year-old won it with the best score in the history of the tournament, finishing the event with 263 points, 25 under par. There hasn’t been a better score during 14 years of the competition.
Korda’s most recent win was before 2021 had even got its feet properly under the table. She won the first event of the LPGA Tour season, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January 2021. Golf pros are partnered up with celebrity golfers during this competition, meaning that Korda was paired with Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier and NFL player Larry Fitzgerald.
Throughout her amateur and professional career, Korda has played in team competitions for both her home country of the Czech Republic and the United States where she lives now. She represented the Czech Republic in 2006 in the World Amateur Team Championship Espirito Santo Trophy which was held in Cape Town, South Africa and the host team won the tournament. Then four years later in 2010 she played in the same Amateur Team Championship but for the United States this time, who finished tied for fourth place.
In 2009, Korda won the Junior Solheim Cup with the United States team in Illinois, USA, then she found success again a year later by being part of the US team who won the Curtis Cup on home soil in Massachusetts.
The team tournaments didn’t stop when she turned professional, Korda was picked three times to be part of the US’ Solheim Cup team, in 2013, 2017 and 2019. However, in 2017 she picked up an injury meaning she couldn’t take part in the event, but this was the only year that she was picked for the Solheim Cup that the United States went on to win it. They lost to Europe in 2013 and 2019, meaning so far she has never got to be a part of a winning Solheim Cup side when she has played in the competition.
In between Solheim Cups Korda was picked to play in the Internation Crown representing the United States in 2018, however South Korea won the competition in that year, with the US runner up along with England.
- Jessica Korda is the daughter of retired professional tennis players Petr Korda, a grand slam champion and won the Australian Open crown in 1998, and Regina Rajchrtová who competed for her home country of Czechoslovakia in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
- Korda’s sister, Nelly Korda, also plays golf on the LPGA Tour, she joined the tour in 2017.
- Jess and Nelly’s brother, Sebastian, plays tennis like his parents did and won the Australian Open title in the boys’ division in 2018.
- Korda’s boyfriend caddied for her during the last round and a half at the 2013 US Women’s Open. After a disagreement with her caddy Jason Gilroyed, she called on her boyfriend and professional golfer Johnny DelPrete to caddy the back nine of the third round, and again for the final day of the tournament.
Chronological Summary of Amateur and Professional Wins
- 2010: South Atlantic Amateur
- 2012: Women’s Australian Open
- 2014: Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
- 2014: Airbus LPGA Classic
- 2015: Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia
- 2018: Honda LPGA Thailand
- 2021: Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions
Melissa Rose Reid, more commonly known as Mel Reid, is a professional golfer from Derby, England. Born on 19 September 1987, the 33-year-old currently plays on both the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour. After turning pro in 2007 she has been on multiple Solheim Cup teams playing for Europe but was left out of the most recent tournament in 2019. Reid has battled some ups and downs in her life both professionally and personally but is without a doubt a golf success story as a result of her resilience and hard work... to read more click HERE
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