Lydia Ko’s Impact On The Game of Golf
Lydia Ko’s impact on the game of golf extends well beyond her years, according to an article in ESPN.
The South Korean-born, New Zealand-bred 18-year-old golfer, is one of the most precocious sports people of all time. No golfer has ever had so much success at such an early age.
“It definitely is another level. She’s one in a million,” said Jane Park, a LPGA player.
“The most important of Ko’s 2015 victories was her dominating effort at The Evian Championship in September, when she shot a final-round 63 to defeat Lexi Thompson by six strokes and became the youngest female major champion.”
“She’s a very humble sort of person. She’s not one to shout from the rooftops,” said David Leadbetter, who has coached Ko for two years.
“I’ve got so many things to learn and so many things I can possibly do. I feel like I’m not fantastic. I’m not this legend or this god. If I was, I could be winning every week. That’s what gods do,” said Ko, who is taking online psychology courses at Korean college and continuously strives for improvement.
“She’s so down to earth, not a mean bone in her body,” said Park.
“She has that gift of treating the regular people like superstars and the superstars like regular people,” said Meghan Flanagan, the LPGA’s senior coordinator of tour media.
According to the article “Ko takes the mantle of being a star player more seriously than she takes herself.”
“One of my favorite things is when a junior comes up to me at an event, or on social media, and says, ‘You’re my role model,'” said Ko.
“That’s one of the biggest things that inspires me and makes me feel like I have to be better for them. If I can play a part in maybe making the tour a little bit better, it’s a job well done.”
Despite her outstanding season, increasing independence and growing stature in the game, Ko has a public profile much different from the pop-culture figures among Time’s influential teens. She hardly gets recognized.
“Everybody loves her. She’s like their little sister. She just happens to be kicking their butts. You know the competitive drive is in there, but it’s very hard to see it. I think that’s the beauty with her. She disregards the competition. It’s about creating little goals for herself and the results taking care of themselves. It’s not, ‘I have to win. I have to beat her. I hope she three-putts,'” said Leadbetter.
Article Source: ESPN, Bill Fields, December 10, 2015.
Image Source: Twitter – LPGA