Lydia Ko clenched her first victory at the LPGA in 2012 at the CN Canadian Women’s Open, where she played as an amateur golfer, at the age of 15, and this was certainly not her last. She was awarded the LPGA Rookie of the Year as soon as she turned professional and won at major tournaments. Ko became the No. 1 ranked woman professional golfer in 2015 at the age of 18, and won 14 LPGA tournaments by 2016 before turning 20 – A glistening career that gave her the nickname “genius girl.”
The winning streak, however, did not last into her 20s with only one win at the LPGA Mediheal Championship in April 2018.
The “genius girl” we know is back. The Korean-born New Zealander claimed victory at a recent LGPA championship for the first time in three years with excellent performance.
At the Lotte Championship, which took place at the Kapolei Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii, Ko hit seven birdies in the final round to record seven-under 65 and finish at 28-under 260. She won by seven shots over Kim Sei-young and Park In-bee and got 300,000 dollars. It was her first win in 1,084 days. “I just said I’m going to play the best golf I can today,” she said. “I just continued to stick to my game plan, and I think it proves to myself.”
Ko has recently shown consistent signs of being back to her best, with three top 10 finishes in four events in 2021 including two second-places. She recorded a stunning 10-under 62 in her final round at the ANA Inspiration early this month.
Ko, who suffered a title drought for a long time, said she was inspired by Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama who recently won their first victory in a while. “You know, with Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama winning the last couple weeks – and I know it's been a while since they won, as well – that kind of gave me a little bit of hope that maybe I could follow that trend,” she said.