US' struggles due to poor junior planning: Korda

LONDON • Jessica Korda, the highest-ranked American in the Women's British Open which ended yesterday, believes shortcomings within her country's development programme for female golfers is contributing to Asia's dominance.

Korda, at No. 9, is one of just three non-Asian players in the world's top 12. Her compatriot, world No. 5 Lexi Thompson, has taken some time off to recharge.

"They just have a better development plan from juniors," Korda said, before citing South Korea specifically. "Golf is an expensive sport, they (centrally) pay for that. They travel to different countries and play a bunch.

"They play for two years on the Korean LPGA Tour before they even come to the States. You can call them rookies but they might have won 10 times professionally. That's a huge advantage.

"I feel like the biggest disadvantage for a lot of American players is there's not a developmental programme to help with their game.

"If somebody sees a little bit of talent in a player and they don't have the funds to get to all these tournaments, what are they going to do?"

Korda speaks with knowledge of other sports; both her parents were professional tennis players, with Petr the 1998 Australian Open champion.

"I know the United States Tennis Association... are taking the kids under their wing. I would love to see something like that happen for golf," she said.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2018, with the headline 'US' struggles due to poor junior planning: Korda'. Print Edition | Subscribe