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Korda set for PGA Championship defence

It was just one year ago that Nelly Korda won the Women’s PGA Championship, securing her first major and reaching No.1 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 Women’s PGA title 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 of losing in a three-way playoff at the LPGA Classic, after finishing in a tie for eighth at the US Women’s Open behind Australian winner Minjee Lee earlier this month.

“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.

“That was the longest time I think I’ve ever gone without hitting a golf ball,” Korda said.

“Since I’ve been back, I’ve made sure that I’ve had a good attitude and enjoyed every second of it, and I think that’s contributed to my good play.”

Weather permitting, Korda is scheduled to tee off Thursday morning with Brooke Henderson and Inbee Park. That group have combined to win this event five times. Park won three straight titles from 2013-15 before Henderson ended that streak with a victory of her own in 2016.

“I don’t think I’ve changed a bunch in the past year. In a sense I think I’ve just become a little bit more consistent and confident that I can win a major championship,” Korda added.

“I think I’ve just kind of learned my way around the major championship week and not to put too much pressure on myself and to enjoy every moment too.”

Korda enters this tournament at No.2 in the world behind South Korea’s Jin Young Ko with Australian Lee third.

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