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Korda set to defend title at Women’s PGA Championship

BETHESDA, MARYLAND (AP) – It was just one year ago that Nelly Korda won the Women’s PGA Championship, securing her first major and reaching number one in the world.

“It feels like forever ago, honestly,” she said.

A lot has happened – both good and bad – since then for Korda. She also won an Olympic gold medal last year for the US, but she went through a four-month layoff this year because of health problems and only recently returned. This week she defends her title at the Women’s PGA at Congressional Country Club – looking ready to contend after a near-victory in Michigan last week.

“I gave myself a chance last week,” she said. “If you told me that when I was laying in the ER, I would have definitely been very happy with that.”

Korda’s season was interrupted when she felt swelling in her left arm – a blood clot in the subclavian vein. She missed the year’s first major in the California desert and and had surgery in April.

Nelly Korda in action during the Meijer LPGA Classic golf tournament. PHOTO: AP

It’s unusual for her to take that much time away, but she’s been in good form since returning.

She tied for eighth at the US Women’s Open, then lost in a playoff at the LPGA Meijer Classic last weekend.

“That was the longest time I think I’ve ever gone without hitting a golf ball,” Korda said. “Ever since I started hitting, it’s just been kind of full throttle, and I have been practicing pretty much. I have not taken more than two or three days off since then. I’m just happy to be out here playing competitive golf.”

Korda said it’s been important to stay positive in the aftermath of her health issues.

“I feel like the more you enjoy it out there, the better you play, the less you get kind of ticked off, the less things go wrong, I guess, in a sense,” she said.