Nelly Korda not expecting much at U.S. Women's Open after blood clot

PGA: PNC Championship - First Round
Dec 18, 2021; Orlando, Florida, USA; Nelly Korda plays her shot off the first tee during the first round of the PNC Championship golf tournament at Grande Lakes Orlando Course. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

SOUTHERN PINES, N.C., May 31 (Reuters) - Reigning Olympic champion Nelly Korda returns to competition at this week's $10 million U.S. Women's Open at Pine Needles, almost three months after being diagnosed with a blood clot in her left arm.

World number two Korda said she had not rushed her return after a surgical procedure that fixed the clot, and could not think of a better time to come back than the biggest event in the women's game.

"Everything is good. I'm so happy to be out here. I've missed everyone, and I'm just grateful," an emotional Korda said on a sizzling late spring morning.

"I just made sure that I was ready and 100 percent going into my comeback (and) wasn't going to have any issues."

Korda, wearing a compression sleeve on her left arm, declined to reveal the cause of the clot, saying she would prefer to keep that to herself.

The 23-year-old is joined in the field here by sister Jessica, a six-time LPGA Tour winner, while brother Sebastian last week made it to the third round at the French Open tennis championship.

Nelly Korda does not have a particularly good record at the U.S. Open -- missing the cut the past two years -- and her expectations this week are modest. She feels a sense of gratitude simply to be playing.

"When taken away from you, you kind of sit back and realise how amazing of a sport it is and how you can travel the world and just do what you love," she said.

"I'm not expecting too much (this week).

"To tee up and to hit my first shot on Thursday, that is as far as I'm looking right now."

Reporting by Andrew Both Editing by Toby Davis

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