Lydia Ko: ‘Sometimes results are so overrated,’ says former world No. 1

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The Kiwi participant has gained two majors, in addition to turning into the youngest participant ever to win knowledgeable golf tour occasion aged simply 14.

In 2015, when she was simply 17 years, 9 months and 9 days of age, Ko additionally turned the youngest males’s or girls’s participant to be ranked world No. 1 in skilled golf.

If profitable tournaments or setting data offers a buzz, it isn’t the be-all and end-all for Ko, a message that’s reinforrced by her coach Sean Foley: “Simply since you win one other occasion, sure, you may be completely satisfied for that day, but it surely would not make you a greater individual or worse individual the day after.”

“Typically for me, I determine myself with simply the way in which I performed that day,” Ko informed CNN Residing Golf’s Shane O’Donoghue. “And typically if I do not play nicely I’m going: ‘Oh man, you are so silly,’ or issues like that.

“And I believe it is very straightforward to type of join your identification to that, however I’ve simply obtained to separate that. And my aim is to hopefully have the profession grand slam, I have been shut within the three majors that I have not gained but. And that may be in all probability my finish aim.”

In her golf profession up to now, Ko has gained the Evian Championship and the ANA Inspiration. She has additionally come inside only a few pictures of profitable the opposite three majors, ending second on the Girls’s PGA Championship in 2016, in addition to tying third on the US Girls’s Open and the Girls’s British Open.

“And I am certain I will be very, very completely satisfied, however I believe typically outcomes are so overrated and me being completely satisfied off the golf course, I believe is one of the best factor that may make me completely satisfied on the course as nicely.”

Ko is presented with a photo board displaying her wins following her arrival at Auckland International Airport on September 18, 2013 in New Zealand.

Quick starter

Beginning quick is one thing Ko is aware of all about.

In addition to her record-breaking victory on the New South Wales Girls’s Open in 2012 aged 14, she turned the youngest winner of a Women Skilled Golf Affiliation (LPGA) Tour occasion in the identical yr.

When she was 17, she set an LPGA report for many cash earned by a rookie, raking in $2,089,033.

In 2015, Ko turned the youngest participant within the “trendy period” (post-1900) of both gender to win a significant championship, profitable the Evian Championship as an 18-year-old.

Ko poses with the trophy after winning  LPGA Taiwan Championship on October 25, 2015.

Nevertheless, after profitable the Mediheal Championship in 2018, her fortunes modified.

For the primary time in her younger profession, Ko endured a barren spell, coming into 37 occasions between 2019 and 2020, failing to win one and ending within the prime 10 simply eight instances.

Ko remembers when she was struggling for kind and was trying to find her “consistency,” including that she was “positively overthinking and attempting to overanalyze.”

“I believe earlier than I used to not be that sort of individual and while you’re struggling, you are looking for solutions and attempting to dig deeper and deeper and deeper,” the 24-year-old mentioned.

“And typically it is good since you’re in a position to go in and type of see from the essential, however typically you may over complicate it.

“And in my case, I had accomplished that and dealing with Sean (Foley), he was in a position to clear a number of the questions in my head and he is been simply as useful, mentally and taking stuff that was unnecessarily in my thoughts, in addition to the method.”

She admits that in her barren streak, she wasn’t even actually placing herself in rivalry, one thing Ko struggled with psychologically.

Ko plays a shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the BMW Ladies Championship.

Bouncing again

However this yr Ko has loved a renaissance.

She ended her winless run on the Lotte Championship in Hawaii and gained a bronze medal on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She known as the chance to symbolize New Zealand in Japan a “enormous honor.”

And earlier in November, she romped to a dominant five-shot victory on the Saudi Women Worldwide.

The victory on the occasion, which boasts one of many richest prizes on the Women European Tour (LET) schedule — a $1 million prize fund — strikes her as much as fifth on the planet rankings and cements herself as one of many kind gamers in world golf.

Regardless of the early profession success, Ko believes the 2021 season is her “most constant” ever.

Ko says her consistency this yr may be partly defined by the teachings she realized when her kind dipped.

Ko poses with her bronze medal on the podium during the victory ceremony of the women's golf competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“I believe there was a time the place I attempted to chase to be the person who I used to be possibly after I was taking part in … Once I was No. 1,” she mentioned.

“However one other participant informed me that you could’t attempt to be your previous, you must be one of the best model of your self within the current. And I believe that basically hit me.

“It type of feels like widespread sense, however while you’re truly doing it and also you’re struggling, it would not look like widespread sense. And when she informed me that, I used to be like: ‘Wow, that is so true.’ And I believe it simply made me focus extra on the now and never attempt to be anyone that I used to be earlier than.”

Already in her eighth yr on tour, Ko shouldn’t be one of many junior gamers anymore.

Though she started the game with the purpose of retiring by the age of 30, she’s the happiest she’s been in her life “on and off the golf course,” one thing that is set her up for achievement sooner or later.

“I believe simply being completely satisfied off the golf course, that interprets being on the golf course as nicely,” Ko defined.

“And simply how I method taking part in and the way I method coming to the golf course each day, type of the temper that I am in. And I believe on the finish of the day, golf and being out right here is figure, however you continue to must get pleasure from it. And the time that when you do not get pleasure from it anymore, it is not price it.

“So yeah, it is a grind, however I am nonetheless having numerous enjoyable and having fun with it and attempting to embrace extra that: ‘Hey, typically it is not all going to be sunny days and good days. You simply nonetheless must type of transfer on and check out your greatest.’ And so long as you attempt your greatest, that is type of it.”

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