World No 3, yet Lydia Ko still gets starstruck

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2014
Lydia Ko
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CHASING HISTORY: Kiwi golf sensation Lydia Ko.

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Lydia Ko still gives little reminders that she's a teenager.

While she drives gun-barrel straight putts like a seasoned veteran and is sitting No 3 in the world - she can move to No 1 if she wins this week's US Open - it's easy to think of the young Kiwi as much older than her 17 years.

She's played in five New Zealand Opens after all.

But in building up to the second women's major of the year, which started this morning at Pinehurst's No 2 course, Ko gave a wee glimpse that she's still a young woman and one not quite 100 per cent aware of how big a deal she is.

Ko was at Pinehurst last weekend to watch the men's tournament, won easily by German Martin Kaymer.

"It was really exciting just to see these guys that [I've seen] on TV just walk by. Some of them knew my name and I was totally freaked out."

It wasn't one player in particular that blew Ko away

"[It] was like, wow. After I met one, I kind of had a mental breakdown, [my mind] wasn't functioning for a while. But it was really cool."

Ko was an unashamed fan, but her favourite moment was a hug from a Players Championship winner.

"I got to hug Sergio Garcia. When do I ever get to do that," she said laughing.

"I don't. So, every player I looked at and said: 'Oh, my, God, There's Keegan Bradley' or 'oh, my, God, there's Rory McIlroy right there'.

"I'm never going to be that close to them, ever. So it was awesome.

"And the next time I do get to see them, I'll be like this again, [I'll] have a mental breakdown."

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