Want to know what’s new with Lydia Ko? Check out this page. I will be consistently updating it with tournament results, quotes, statistics, and more!
19 April 2021
(Note: There will not be a “story” style entry each update. But I felt it was nice to give some context to Lydia’s win in Hawaii.)
Nine years. That’s how long it’s been since a 15 year old amateur from New Zealand introduced herself to the world by becoming the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history. Who was that young woman? She was, and is, Lydia Ko.
Ko won the Canadian Women’s Open in 2012 for her first LPGA Tour title, and would repeat that feat in 2013 at the same tournament. Both wins came as an amateur, and were the start of the most dominant run by a teenager in the history of professional golf. By the age of 19 Lydia accumulated 12 wins on the LPGA Tour, including two Major Championships. She also became the youngest player to ever reach number one in the Rolex World Rankings in 2015, at the age of 17.
Lydia was not the longest player, or the flashiest, but she played with a consistency that allowed her to contend, and win, on a regular basis. Her short game was, and remains, one of the best in the world. But then, something happened. Championship trophies were no longer being engraved with her name. Ko’s game never completely disappeared, but the wins did. For quite awhile.
Nearly two years passed without a win for Lydia after her triumph at the 2016 Marathon Classic. But a thrilling playoff victory at the 2018 Mediheal Championship at Lake Merced Golf Club ended that winless streak. Little did we know at that time, another drought would ensue.
However, despite the “struggles” and the scrutinizing, Ko never lost hope. She continued to work hard, and after the Tour returned to action in 2020, began seeing herself in contention more and more often. Perhaps, gaining the confidence and freedom in her game she so effortlessly displayed during her teenage years? A win at the Lotte Championship seems to answer that question with a resounding YES. Nearly three years have passed since her previous victory, in San Francisco, and the win in Hawaii has reminded all of us what she is capable of.
And now we can officially say…
Lydia Ko is an LPGA Tour winner once again!
After an absolutely brilliant display of golf, the soon-to-be 24 year old leaves Hawaii as the 2021 Lotte Championship Champion.
She started the week with a 5-under (67) and followed that up with rounds of 63, 65, and 65. Good enough for a SEVEN shot victory, and a grand total of 28-under par for the tournament. And if that is not impressive enough, these were Ko’s first four rounds after her blistering Final Round -10 (62) at the ANA Inspiration! That means she is 38-under par in her last 90 holes played. Truly remarkable, and honestly, unfathomable.
A few more stats to highlight her recent extraordinary play:
- Ko has made only one bogey in her last 100 holes played.
- She hit 64 out of 72 greens in regulation this past week. Nearly 89%.
- She averaged 27 putts per round in Hawaii.
- 9 of the Top-10 players in the world were in the field at the Lotte Championship.
- Per Justin Ray of the 15th Club: In Lydia’s last 90 holes played she has made birdie or better on 42.2% of those holes. And her scoring average is 64.4 for her last five rounds.
- She has four Top-10’s in five events this season. Including the victory, and two second place finishes.
- In the shortened 2020 season, Ko had five Top-10’s in 13 events played.
- And to top things off, Lydia’s resurgence over the last year has her projected to be, when the rankings come out Monday, back in the Top-10 of the Rolex Rankings for the first time since 2018.
Responding to what the win in Hawaii means to her, Ko said:
“It means a lot. I think there were times I think it was harder and sometimes when — it’s not about other people’s expectations, but when you put expectations on yourself and you feel like you’re not reaching it.
And I think I was putting more pressure on myself and doubting myself, and I’ve been very fortunate to have a very supportive family and team and friends that have just built the confidence in me. Sean I feel like gives me so many great wisdoms and builds that confidence in myself where at times I didn’t feel like I had it.
Just makes me grateful that I just have a loving people around me that are just supporting me no matter what. I think it’s more I was proving it to myself than to anybody else.
And I know this feels great, but obviously playing next week, and I think it just says at the back of my mind. It takes away that doubt that I can do it.
And when you stay patient and keep working on the right things, everything naturally follows.”
Next for Lydia is this week’s HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open. In her previous two starts at Wilshire Country Club in Los Angeles, Ko has finished T31 in 2018, and T42 in 2019. But as we have seen this season, this is a new Lydia. And in the next update she will be a year older, as she celebrates her 24th birthday on Saturday, April 24th.