World No 3, yet Lydia Ko still gets starstruck

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

Relevant offers

Golf

Lydia Ko let down by putting in first round of NZ Women's Open at Clearwater Journeyman leads in Florida, Rory McIlroy struggles Bookies only have eyes for Lydia Ko at New Zealand Women's Open World No 1 golfer Lydia Ko tweaks her swing ahead of the New Zealand Open Rory McIlroy relishes being golf's top man as he eyes a Masters victory American golfer Beth Allen hopes to mark special date with New Zealand Open win Kieran Muir holds off Ryan Fox challenge to take out the Brian Perry Classic title Clearwater golf course greenkeeper Sam Langrope to volunteer at US Masters Lydia Ko boosts NZ Women's Open crowd to 30,000 over three days Lydia Ko leads and golf's other teen queens sure to be the feature group at the New Zealand Women's Open

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."

Ad Feedback

- The Press

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content