Lydia Ko remains the lady to beat on the LPGA Tour, but this week at CordeValle Golf Club she will encounter stiff competition for the US Women’s Open title.
‘It’s been really cool to play and compete against the best players and we all feed off each other. From a fan perspective I think it’s been great to see the talent coming through. All I can do is work one my own goals,’ she said.
Ko became world number one in February last year at the age of 17. She has since won two majors and a host of LPGA titles, including the NW Arkansas Championship a fortnight ago.
‘When we’re out here it’s not about age, but experience can’t be taken away from any player. That’s what helps you through pressure situations and that’s the big thing to change since three or four years ago,’ she said.
The New Zealander is the tournament favourite in California this week.
‘I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to play on this tour, which I’ve always dreamt of. Things have gone so much faster than I would ever have dreamed. To have a chance to be the youngest winner of this championship, even if I don’t get it done, is such a great experience,’ she said.
Her newest rival is Canadian Brooke Henderson, who won the KPMG PGA Championship a month ago and was victorious at the Cambia Portland Classic last week.
‘To say I wasn’t disappointed after the PGA Championship would be a lie,’ said Ko. ‘I would have loved to hole one more putt or hit a better shot to be holding the trophy. At the end of the day I played solid golf and can’t blame anything on my game. Brooke (Henderson) sank long putts and hit some amazing shots.’
The world number one has matured quickly on tour and heads to the US Women’s Open with experience on her side.
‘I think the key thing around the majors is that it’s not about a very low score,’ she said. ‘You’re never out of it – anything can happen.’
‘Last year was the best finish I had at The US Open (tied-12th),’ she added. ‘You almost need to forget the bad shots and move on. You have to treat every hole as a new event. Take it, go from it, and start new by the next tee box.’