Lydia Ko has woken up the golfing world and anyone who didn’t know her name, sure does now! Her win at the AMA Inspiration in Palm Springs was her second Major in a row. She was the youngest Major winner in history and is now the youngest to go back-to-back. At just 18, Ko has already clocked up 12 wins on the LPGA tour and five wins on the European Tour. She has the potential to become one of the greats of women’s golf.
‘This young player was made for what she is doing,’ said Hall of Famer Judy Rankin. ‘She has the most ideal temperament I have ever seen.’
Earlier in the week, Ko’s sister and manager, Sura, marvelled that her younger sibling had been that way since she was born, an event that did not even provoke a cry from the newborn. ‘So that’s pretty calm,’ Sura said.
Calm is the way Ko followed her Kia Class title with the LPGA’s first Major of 2016, the first player to win in back-to-back weeks since Inbee Park won three in a row in 2013 and the first since Park that year to win the LPGA event before a Major.
It is the way the New Zealand native and Florida resident became the youngest player in LPGA Tour history to reach 10 wins, beating Nancy Lopez’s record last year, and it was certainly the way she notched her 12th.
Down two strokes to Ariya Jutanugarn with three holes to go, Ko hit tough putts for par, particularly her 8-footer on 17 en route to her final round three-under-69 to finish the tournament at 12 under and edge In Gee Chun and Charley Hull by one stroke.
Ko, who had finished first or second in nine of her past 14 worldwide starts, headed next to The Masters, where she accepted the LPGA Player of the Year award. It was her first trip to Augusta National. ‘So many people have said it’s more undulating than what you see on the TV screen,’ she said. ‘To me, I’m just really looking forward to meeting some of the guys. I haven’t met Jordan Spieth, so I would love to meet him. I’ve only heard great things about him. Just being in that Masters vibe. There’s got to be a reason why everybody says, “Hey, that’s The Masters.”’