Monday, July 21, 2014

Another win for Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko has rebounded in the best possible way from a forgettable final round in the Britsish Women's Open last weekend. The LPGA Tour website reports:

Is it really even a surprise anymore when Lydia Ko does what she did Sunday? Seventeen-year-olds aren’t supposed to be that unflappable, that immune to pressure. They’re not supposed to step up to a 72-yard shot, needing a birdie, and hit it to four feet for the win. But never before has there ever been anyone this good, this young. With the birdie, Ko finished off a final-round, bogey-free, 6-under-par 65 to emerge with a one-shot victory and the fourth LPGA win of her career and second this season. “I came in today with a goal of shooting 6-under. After my first nine I said, I definitely can shoot that,” Ko said. Ko, the No. 2 player in the world, still swears she gets nervous on every shot, even if she never seems to show it. The four-footer she drained on the last was particularly clutch considering Ko entered the 18th with a one-shot lead before So Yeon Ryu drained a snaking right-to-left 30-foot bomb on the 17th hole. But Ryu, playing one group behind Ko, missed a must-make 6-foot birdie on the last to finish one back of Ko at 14-under-par for the tournament. “I actually couldn’t see it properly because I was behind some people,” Ko said. “I kind of saw by the crowd’s reaction.” Unsurprisingly, Ko becomes the youngest player in LPGA Tour history to cross the $1 million mark (17 years, 2 months, 26 days) and that doesn’t even include the money she didn’t receive after winning twice as an amateur. Ko’s 65 came with birdies on two of the last three holes. However, Ko’s still focused on the pocket money that comes from birdies. The 17-year-old who doesn’t even have her driver’s license has an allowance deal going with her mom where the amount she gets increases with each shot under par she finishes.

Lydia Ko is turning into golf's equivalent of an ATM. not that anyone would be surprised. For a rookie professional, her consistency has been little short of amazing, and it seems only a matter of time before she breaks through to win the first of what we predict will be many majors.

And in men's golf, Hamilton professional Steven Alker took a big step towards the Holy Grail of the PGA Tour today.  Alker finished in second place in the Boise Open, losing in a sudden-death playoff to Steve Wheatcroft after the pair finished the regulation 72 holes tied at 24-under. 

Steven Alker's season earnings on the Tour have risen to US$211,580, and shot him up ten places on the money list to ninth. The top 25 players get cards for the Big Tour next year, and Alker is now more that US$100,000 ahead of the 25th-placed golfer. He would need the worst possible run of luck, and almost every player immediately below him on the money list to win tournaments to miss his promotion from here.

It's been a great morning for New Zealand golfers.

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