(Sotogrande, Spain) — US stars Nelly and Jessica Korda are excited to be competing once again in the Aramco Team Series with the latest tournament set to take place at La Reserva Club de Sotogrande from August 18-20th.
The sisters made their first appearance in the Aramco Team Series New York last October when Jessica led her quartet to victory after a thrilling play-off that finished in the dark. And Nelly came so close to making it a Korda double, finishing runner-up to Charley Hull in the individuals’ event that ran alongside the team tournament.
The innovative series that combines team and individual play is staged as part of the Ladies European Tour and has already seen $1million events take place in Bangkok and London in 2022. This week the Aramco Team Series has landed in Andalucía in southern Spain and the Kordas are looking forward to teeing it up on their first visit to the country, which will host next year’s Solheim Cup.
Nelly, 24, said: “You’re always just trying to grow the game of golf, get more people interested, show them that it’s super exciting and I think the Aramco Team Series does that perfectly.
“It’s always really exciting when you kind of get to do something a little different – a little unique. I think it brings in a little bit of new energy, so I enjoy this event. I definitely enjoyed my time in New York and I was really excited to come back, here in Sotogrande especially. I’ve heard so many great things about Spain and the golf course.”
Jessica, 29, is also a strong advocate of the format in which the first two days will see 36 teams target the lion’s share of a $500,000 prize pot. Each quartet has a captain, who selects one team-mate at a players’ draft, while they are also all allocated a further professional along with an amateur.
Last year in New York saw Jessica’s team triumph under the lights after they fought out extra holes with Sophia Popov’s quartet, who tied at the top in regulation play.
Jessica said: “It was a lot of fun. The whole playoff scenario was so different to what we normally have. Sophia and I asked to change the lighting a couple of times so we could actually see the golf balls properly – we were so afraid of like chunking it off the tee because it was so, so dark. But it was such a cool experience and then getting to enjoy the win with the team, it’s just different than what we normally do week in, week out. Excited to be here and kind of have a very similar experience.”
The final 18 holes of the tournament is professionals-only with a further $500,000 on offer and Nelly is aiming to go one better than her Aramco Team Series debut in New York. The World No.3 said: “Every event I try to play my best and try to get to the top of the leaderboard. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t but I always try to get there. So it would be nice to get the victory, as it would be any week.”
The home challenge is led by Spain’s highest-ranked player Carlota Ciganda. She was in great form last month winning the Estrella Damm Ladies Open and then claiming a top-three finish in the Amundi Evian Championship.
Ciganda, 32, said: “I’m ready to play. I think it’s a great venue, a great golf course. I am just happy to be here…family and friends coming, so it’s always good fun, good nights, late dinners. I really enjoy doing that and it’s usually a really big week for me when I play in Spain.”
Anna Nordqvist was today unveiled as one of three Solheim Cup vice-captains by European skipper Suzann Pettersen. And three-time major winner Nordqvist – an Aramco Team Series ambassador – confirmed she is a big fan of team format golf.
The Swede, 35, said: “You play not only for yourself, but you play for your team-mates. Even this week is pretty cool because you’re playing for ‘team’ and it just makes it a little more exciting. You get to root for your team. It makes it special because it’s not what we do week in, week out.”
The latest Aramco Team Series is taking place at La Reserva Club de Sotogrande where admission starts from just €5. Come and experience the Aramco Team Series for yourself.
To buy tickets, visit aramcoteamseries.com and follow the event on social media @aramco_series.