10 Jun 2018

Lydia Ko: I’m back in action

Lydia Ko made a welcome return to the winner’s circle last month with a play-off win over Minjee Lee at the LPGA Mediheal Championship. Ko, who had held the position as the leading lady on the Rolex Rankings for over 100 weeks, hadn’t won on Tour since 2016 but put that to right thanks in part to a new set of irons – the new PXG Gen2. Before her victory we caught up with the 21-year-old at the launch of the irons in Scottsdale to get her take on the new bats, the chances of her teeing it up in Dubai in the future and what life is like as a top Touring professional.

Worldwide Golf: You have just made ten birdies at the PXG Gen2 Iron launch, what a performance!

Lydia Ko: Ten birdies and one bogey – it is always nice when you have more birdies than pars! (laughs)

WWG: You are playing with the new PXG Gen2 Irons, talk me through them.

LK: I have been using the Gen2 irons in my last few events because as soon as I got them I thought they felt really good. I love how easy it is to shape my shots and just in general how easy they are to hit, so it is a good combination and that’s what made me put these irons in my bag.

WWG: What is the main difference between Gen1 and Gen2?

LK:  To me the Gen2 feels a little bit softer through impact, which is key because the ‘feel’ aspect through contact is very important for me and the ball would go up a little higher than with my original 0311, which is good because I don’t really hit the ball high. So just being able to get the ball higher made me more consistent, especially in windy conditions.

WG: How would you describe (PXG owner) Bob Parsons?

LK: I would say that he is charismatic, supportive and caring. It is great to be a part of the PXG team and he certainly is looking after us.

WWG: Are you happy travelling the world to play the game or are you happier to be based in the LPGA?

LK: I love being able to travel to other countries. We play around eight tournaments in Asia and we manage to go all over the globe and visit countries like Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Unites States and Canada. It is really cool to visit new places and meet some of the players there and experience different cultures. That is the great thing about the LPGA as it is a global tour and I have been enjoying the journey so far.

WWG: You have not been to Dubai, though?

LK: I have not, I would love to visit in the near future. I have heard so many good things about the city and the country, it has some magnificent golf courses. The LET has a tournament there in December so I would love to hit some balls there. I have never been to the Middle East so I think it would be a great opportunity.

WWG: Who is your best friend on Tour?

LK: Danielle Kang is practically my sister on the Tour. I first met her in 2011 US Women’s Amateur. Su-Hyun Oh is also one of my closest friends.

WWG: Who makes you laugh the most on Tour?

LK: Tiffany Joh has that sense of humour that me makes me say: “Wow, she is a genius for thinking this way!”

WWG: Who has got the worst dress sense?

LK: I would have to call myself out on this one! Sometimes I just pick the wrong outfits.

WWG: When was the last time you laughed on the course, and what made you laugh?

LK: Probably here at the launch! I had a great group and we were just having a good time out there. We were just sharing jokes and it was great day for all of us. Being so relaxed out there helped me to go low and it’s something I need to remember more often in tournaments. If I can keep my mind like this I should be winning again soon.

WWG: What was the last movie you watched?

LK: I watched the movie Wonder. It stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson and is about a kid who was born with a rare medical facial deformity and he looks different from the other kids at school and it showcases how he copes and deals with his first year in school. I actually cried when I watched it on the plane and obviously that was not a pretty scene at all! When it comes to genres I am more into thrillers than romantic movies, but inspirational movies like Wonder are very close to my heart.

WWG: What was the last concert you went to?

LK: The last concert I went to was on New Year’s Eve and my friend and rapper Microdot was headlining there.

WWG: What was the last car you bought?

LK: I have actually never bought a car and I don’t even have my full driving license yet! But I do have a very nice blue Lexus RCF. I do have my restricted license so I can drive but I have to have a guardian with me on the passenger seat. Most of the time someone else just drives for me, though.

WWG: When you win your next Major what is the one thing you will treat yourself to?

LK: I am a big fan of electronics and technology, so it would be something along those lines – I am not really the type that purchases handbags after a win.

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