A conversation was begun at the U.S. Open, talking out loud about the emotional health of professional golfers. Matthew Wolff took a few weeks off from the PGA Tour to address the pressure he feels to perform from fans, on social media and from traditional media. Bubba Watson says he’s experienced many of the same emotions.
But this kind of stress is not limited to the men. Jessica Korda says she has felt it, too.
“I never say that it's easy out here,” said Korda, who is preparing for this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club. “You've got to love it. You've got to be a little crazy to do what we do. We put ourselves out there every single week, and it's tough.
“You have fans coming to follow you, and if you're not playing your best, you obviously feel like you're disappointing everyone, and you get asked about it right after. It's never easy not playing well and then kind of answering the questions why because you're trying to figure it out yourself.”
The 28-year-old Korda, in her 10th year on the LPGA Tour, has slipped to No. 13 in the Rolex Ranking and is mentioned as one the best women players not to win a major championship. She has a chance to remedy that resume omission this week. But it comes with baggage.
“It's not like we're trying to make mistakes or trying not to win or not showing up,” she said Tuesday. “I think that's the comment I get a lot is, “Oh, you guys didn't show up.’ No, I showed up, it's just you go out there and try it yourself. And it's with every sport. So, it is tough, but at the same time, it's a part of the job.
“I like that people are starting to talk about it a little bit more because it's there. Everyone knows it's there, and we all feel the same. It's just no one really talks about it.”