History can happen, but only at Lydia Ko's pace

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 14/08/2014
Lydia Ko
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AT HER OWN PACE: Lydia Ko in action during the Meijer Classic at Blythefield Country Club in the US.

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The world No 1 ranking and major championship history may both be in reach this week, but Lydia Ko says her priority is simply to have fun.

On the eve of the LPGA Championship at Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York - where victory would see the 17-year-old New Zealander become the youngest-ever major champion and top the world rankings - Ko has offered insight into her debut pro season.

With two wins, eight top 10s and over a $1 million from for her first nine months as a touring professional, media and fans worldwide have been quick make all sorts of golfing comparisons of North Shore teenager and imagine all sorts of possible achievements.

But for Ko, it's all been about keeping is remarkably simple.

Revealing she didn't even set any goals for this season - wanting to make sure she enjoyed, and properly adjusted to, turning pro instead, Ko has acknowledged there are some records ripe for the taking, but, says she's not thinking about them.

"I didn't really realise [about the No 1 ranking] until you just mentioned it, but to me I think winning would be great, but that's in a couple days' time, and I'm just going to take it day by day," Ko said.

"If it goes my way, great, and then I become world No 1, it's even better. But I'm not going to think about it. I'm just going to try and enjoy it and try to think of it as a normal, another LPGA event.

"It's been seven, eight months [on tour], and I think I've aged more than I normally have in that period of time.

"I didn't really have a position or a ranking goal. My biggest thing was just to have fun on the tour and also learn what it is about the tour and learn more about the tour, learn about the sponsors and the players. I think that was one of the biggest things for me, and I think that's the most important thing in a rookie year.

"Playing well and performing well is great, but there are some other aspects to it, and I've been having fun and learning things along the way. It's been good.

"I've enjoyed my time on tour. The time has gone really fast. A lot of tournaments, over half has gone by, and I can't really believe it. I wouldn't have imagined myself to be playing full time on the tour the same time last year."

Ko, who has been in good form recently and won the Marathon Classic last month, also says she is happy with incremental swing changes being brought in under new coach David Leadbetter and his associate, Sean Hogan.

"Yeah, it's been really good. We've been changing a little bit of the swing, but it's been very minor changes. To me it's been a really good change, and I've been working hard with Sean and David," Ko said.

"I've been looking at my swing, and I like how it's becoming. I mean, I can never say I'm going to end up having a perfect swing. I try to have my rhythm and then make it a little better. They're here this week and they can help me with little things.

"I've really enjoyed working with Sean and David."

Ko begins her first round of the LPGA Championship on Friday morning (New Zealand time).

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

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