Go Lydia Ko!

Another victory for the teenage golfing sensation

By Roger Childs

One more look at that stroke of genius. Ko’s birdie putt on the last hole as described by a Canadian television commentator

Ko in CWPGA

Back to back wins in the Canadian Open

 Lydia has done it again with a 5 stroke win the Canadian Women’s Open at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Edmonton. This is the third biggest tournament in the women’s game on the planet and Ko won it last year by 3 strokes. She started the last round this time one shot behind the leader, but blew the opposition away with a 64. At age sixteen she is now ranked 7th out of 837 in the world listings.

 Ko comes through under pressure

 Last year Ko came into the tournament under the radar and beat 19 of the top 20 women’s golfers in the world. In 2013 they knew she would be a threat and so it proved, with her first three rounds all under the 70 course par: 65, 69, 67. Would the teenage sensation falter under pressure? No way!

She got a great start in the final round and pulled away from the star- studded field. On the final green she was four up and then sank a difficult putt to push the margin out to five. Ko observed modestly I was really happy with my 64 today.

 One interviewer thought this was Ko’s best ever round, however the champion quietly corrected him, pointing out that she had had a round of 63 in the NZ Women’s Open earlier in the year.

A popular winner

The big gallery enthusiastically acknowledged Lydia as she walked to the last green. Including the huge crowd who were following the line of officials behind the players, there were thousands watching the last rites. They all stood and applauded the champion to the green.

Claude Mongeau, who is CEO of the main sponsor, Canadian National Railway, spoke of the success of the Edmonton tournament: the great crowds, good weather and $C 2.7 million raised for the Children Hospital Foundation: the local equivalent of our Starship Hospital. We couldn’t be more thrilled.

He’s a man who looks like everyone’s favourite uncle and was effusive about Ko’s success. With a big smile of his face he said I’m so glad to see Lydia again. I presented the trophy to her last year in Vancouver. Winning back to back victories was only done previously back in 1986-87.

Going professional?

The burning question that a lot of people are asking around the golf world, is when is she going to turn pro?  The DomPost estimates that Lydia’s tournament success over the last three years would have netted her nearly one and a half million dollars.

·        LPGA Tour: 14 tournaments           $1,250,000
·        Australian Tour: 9 tournaments    $ 147, 500 
·        Japan Tour : 1 tournament                   $  60,000

                                   TOTAL                                     $1,457,500

In the interview after the last round the commentator responding to the question, said that we asked her that last year and she laughed it off. He said I think she’ll do that again this time. Ko responded with a giggle, Yes I think so!

 Later she commented I’m thinking about it… I’m happy at the moment.  As I’m only 16, it’s quite hard to make huge decisions. And when I turn pro it’s like a job, where money is all about it and every shot counts.

 Ko and CWPGA trophy

 It’s great to see a sports star humbly enjoying what she’s doing so well and clearly not in it for the money.