GolfNewsNelly KordaRose Zhang

Nelly Korda, Lilia Vu and Rose Zhang to Represent Team USA in Paris

by Brian Pinelli

Nelly Korda hits a tee shot on the seventh hole during the second round at the 2024 KPMG Women's PGA Championship on June 21, 2024 in Sammamish, Wash. (Photo by Getty Images)

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Nelly Korda headlines the U.S. Women’s Olympic Golf Team competing at the Olympic Games Paris 2024.

Joining Korda on the USA Golf squad will be Lilia Vu and Rose Zhang, the trio teeing off in a four round, individual stroke-play tournament, Aug. 7-10. The field of 60 women’s golfers will be pursuing Olympic medals at Le Golf National, a renowned course and the venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup, located about 25 miles southwest of Paris.

Korda, 25, and Vu, 26, should pose a formidable 1-2 threat, as Vu is currently ranked world No. 2, only behind her U.S. teammate. Zhang, 21, is ranked No. 9 internationally. 

The 2020 Olympic champion from Bradenton, Florida, expressed her emotions about becoming a two-time Olympian for Team USA.

"I'm honored to represent the United States once again on the Olympic stage this summer in Paris," Korda, 25, said in a USA Golf news release. "Winning the gold medal in Tokyo was a dream come true and an incredible highlight to my career."

Korda appeared unbeatable this season stringing together six victories over seven tournaments between March and mid-May. However, she has uncharacteristically struggled ever since, unable to make the weekend cut in each of her last three events, including two majors, the KPMG PGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open.

The United States is one of only two countries that will be represented by three players, along with the Republic of Korea. Both nations’ three participants are ranked among the top 15 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking, meeting the qualification criteria for more than two players set by the International Golf Federation (IGF).

Vu displayed top form finishing tied for second at the recent KPMG PGA Championship. The California native and former UCLA colleagiate golfer ascended to world No. 1 in 2023 and was named the LPGA Player of the Year. She won four tournaments, including two majors, that season.

“Representing Team USA at the Olympic has been a goal of mine and to now get the chnace to head to Paris this summer is surreal,” Vu said. “I can’t wait to get out there and try to win a medal of my own in August.”

In a surprising comeback from a back injury, Vu was victorious at the recent Meijer LPGA Classic (June 13-16) in Michigan, despite having missed two months on tour.

Rose Zhang uses a rangefinder before hitting a tee shot on the ninth hole during the second round at the 2024 KPMG Women's PGA Championship on June 21, 2024 in Sammamish, Wash. (Photo by Getty Images)

Zhang expressed similar excitement and enthusiasm as her U.S. Olympic teammates.

“There’s nothing like wearing the red, white and blue on a global stage – to do so now at the Olympics is something I could only imagine and I’m incredibly grateful to be competing in Paris,” Zhang said.

“I am so excited to join my teammates at Le Golf National in a few weeks and represent Team USA in front of the world,” she said.

Zhang, who won in her LPGA Tour debut in June 2023, achieved her second career victory last month in New Jersey. The Irvine, California, golfer was a two-time NCAA champion while attending Stanford University in 2022 and 2023. She represented the stars and stripes at the 2019 Pan American Games, where she was a member on the gold medal winning U.S. mixed-gender team.

The two-year Olympic qualification period concluded following this past weekend’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Among the 60 Olympic golfers, 33 countries will be represented

French golf fans will surely be cheering for their own Celine Boutier at Le Golf National, the world’s No. 6 ranked player. The 30-year-old golfer from France finished runner-up at the HSBC Women’s World Championship earlier this season and has risen to the occasion at major tournaments.

Other top contenders vying for Olympic medals include South Koreans Jin Young Ko and Amy Yang, Australian Hannah Green, Great Britain’s Charley Hull and Tokyo 2020 silver medalist Yuka Saso of Japan.

Olympic Games Rio 2016 silver and Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Lydia Ko of New Zealand will be gunning for a third consecutive medal in Paris. 

This summer’s competition marks the fifth time golf has been featured as an Olympic sport and just the third time since 1904. American Margaret Abbott won a gold medal at the Olympic Games Paris 1900, the first Olympic tournament.