Much Good to Be Had from a Gift like Lydia’s

As Lydia Ko, 16, began her rookie year playing as a professional in the Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic last week, ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel profiled the world’s No 4-ranked player.

Winner of two LPGA tournaments already – but unable to collect any prize money because of her amateur status – Ko knew last autumn she had to make a dollars-and-sense move to pro status. She petitioned for early membership to the LPGA Tour.

“Being a professional and being an amateur is totally different, and I’ll have to learn a lot,” Ko said. “I need to play three or four weeks in a row and only a one-week break.”

Veterans may be annoyed by the youthful success and find reasons to criticise “kid” players, especially for deportment or perceived breaches in golf etiquette. A young player needs to be conversational during a round, but not too much so. She needs to be deferential in some ways, without giving away anything as a competitor. Ko has done all of this just as well as she’s done the actual golf part.

For a youngster who loves photography, wishes she could have a dog, and is still starstruck by golf luminaries such as Phil Mickelson, there is clearly much more good than bad resulting from this gift she has.

“I wish I could live like Lydia, just for one day,” her mother said, ‘because she always looks happy. She was born to be like this.”

Original article by Mechelle Voepel, ESPN, January 22, 2014.

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images.

Tags: Auckland  ESPN  Lydia Ko  Phil Mickelson  Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic  

Dunedin Swimmer Erika Fairweather Wins in Doha

Dunedin Swimmer Erika Fairweather Wins in Doha

Erika Fairweather has won her maiden swimming world championship title with victory in the women’s 400m freestyle final in Doha. The 20-year-old from Dunedin is the first New Zealander to win…