Lydia this is your house, you’re going to win! A fan calling out early in the last round. Ko cracked a smile!
A great record at Lake Merced
By Roger Childs
It was interesting being in the San Francisco area when Lydia Ko was playing in the Mediheal last weekend. Lake Merced is in Daly City south of the big city, and has three golf courses.
Friscans golf fans remember Lydia winning there as a teenager in the 2014 and 2015 Swinging Skirts, but would the local papers have much to say on this year’s LPGA Mediheal tournament?
The Sports section of the San Francisco Chronicle is chock full of basketball and baseball, mainly men’s, and in season the ice hockey and American football. Other sports get a mention if there is a big tournament on, and major results from the around the world feature in a summary section.
Lydia is big news
It was a pleasant surprise to see a half page devoted to Lydia’s chances before the tournament started. On the days following there were progress articles, and then last Monday a whole page!
There have been plenty of teenagers on the LPGA circuit, but the Kiwi set the golfing world alight when, at the age of 15, she became the youngest person ever to win a major tournament: the Canadian Women’s Open.
From there she won many more big tournaments, was world number one for 130 weeks, and picked up the silver medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. She is credited with significantly increasing the interest in women’s golf around the planet.
Every time she plays she is big draw card, even though she is now ranked 13 in the world.
Success in the Mediheal
Her victory last weekend was her first major win in nearly two years. And she did it in style.
Up against another golfer of Korean extraction, Australia’s Minjee Lee, Lydia hit an amazing second shot on the par 5 hole into the narrow entrance to the green, to end up two feet from the hole.
American golfer, Jordan Spieth, ranked fourth in the world, said that if it had gone in for an albatross, it would have been ranked as the greatest shot in golfing history.
Regardless, the eagle was still amazing especially when you consider the pressure Ko was under.
Let’s hope her dramatic victory in the Mediheal puts Ko on the upward spiral.