Monday, April 28

'Fearless' Ko Bags Third LPGA Title

Lydia Ko
IN A THREE-WAY DUEL at Lake Merced Golf Club, 17-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand defeated 54-hole leader Stacy Lewis and Jenny Shin to win the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Young Ko has won three times on the LPGA Tour, although this was her first title as a professional.

Earlier in the week Ko was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. I guess she had to win, right?

Whatever pressure Ko may have felt did not hurt her golf on Sunday. She closed with a 69 for a one-shot victory over Lewis, who fought to the 18th green, dropping the birdie she had to have when she teed off on the final hole.

One problem. Moments earlier Ko birdied after a delicate pitch from the short rough. It was over.

Ko is "fearless," remarked Shin, as is Lewis.

I saw the last 90 minutes of Swinging Skirts coverage on the Golf Channel. Located in Daly City just south of San Francisco, Lake Merced Golf Club is picturesque, and its terrain and trees reminded me of the nearby Olympic Club. It was fun to watch the conclusion in prime time in the East.

World No. 3 Lewis was gracious in defeat.

"Every time Lydia needed to hit a shot, she did...She made some pretty tough shots there, especially the last three holes. Really looked pretty easy. She definitely earned it out there today."

"I don't think I would have any better birthday week," said Ko, now second in the world rankings.

"I won here. I finally turned 17. I [had] been 16 for a long 100 most influential people, I don't know what I've done to get there, but,'s just a really special week for me. I'm so honored to have all those titles."

A great week, to be sure. What can we expect now that Ko is 17? How many more wins?

"I've had a couple good finishes..." Lewis added. "The golf is there. Just got to keep putting myself [in contention] and giving myself chances."

Next up for the ladies is this week's North Texas LPGA Shootout in Irving, Texas.


DaveAndrews said...

Lydia is skipping the event in Dallas this week.... a well-deserved rest. She might be the best even in the women's game. Time will tell, but she is off to the most impressive start of anyone in recent decades.

Brian Kuehn said...

I hope she doesn't lose the attitude of fearlessness. As one collects life experiences it is natural to develop a more conservative approach and play safe rather than try to "go for it."

The Armchair Golfer said...

I suppose everyone loses it eventually, but she's only 17. That fearlessness might just stick around for awhile.

Tony Jesselli (Tonyj5) said...

I think we have entered a new era in LPGA golf. The era of Lexi, Lydia and Michelle.