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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Lydia Ko - Golf Prodigy

    This girl's causing quite the sensation at the moment and not only for her obvious talent but also, by all accounts, because she comes across as more level-headed, grounded and mature then her years suggest. She has so far resisted the temptation to turn pro because it would restrict the number of tournaments she can play however she has already conceeded in excess of $500,000 in winnings alone due to amateur status so it can't be long until she does.

    Pretty meaningless comparison but interesting nevertheless... Tiger Woods didn't win his first pro tournament until he was 20/21.
    David Leggat: Kiwi prodigy's star shines bright


    15-year-old golfer up there with world's top young performers and her best is surely yet to come

    Ko is not quite at the top of the mountain in terms of achievements in one so young. But just think, in five years' time she still won't be 21. Photo / Getty Images
    It is doubtful New Zealand sport has ever had such a prodigious talent to match Lydia Ko at such a tender age.

    Sport is loaded with gifted performers yet to blow out 21 candles, but who fail to press on and match the deeds of their teens, so there are dangers of getting ahead of oneself.

    Ko has all that ahead of her. She will have dog days along with, hopefully, many memorable ones. The sports performer who has enjoyed untrammelled success throughout his or her career hasn't been born yet.

    But 15? Come on.

    The youngest winner on the LPGA Tour, US amateur champion, youngest winner of a professional tournament (the New South Wales Open, at 14, last year). The first New Zealander to win the country's women's Open this year, and a course-record 10-under on the opening day of the Australian Open in Royal Canberra on Thursday.

    With whom can Ko be compared? Just think golf a moment.

    Remember when Michelle Wie was going to blaze a trail through the women's game a few years ago.

    She's worth a bundle but at an ancient 23 how many PGA titles has she won? Two.

    Indeed, she was one of Ko's playing partners as the bespectacled New Zealander sliced the Royal Canberra course apart.

    "She's a phenomenal player," Wie said. "She just seems like a kid, so I hope she stays that way and just enjoys it." There's a good reason for that.

    Cast your mind about for other New Zealand sports men and women who might, just, compare.

    Danyon Loader was an Olympic Games silver medallist at Barcelona 21 years ago, aged 17. He went on to double gold in Atlanta in 1996, aged 21. Phenomenally good by the most exacting global standards, at a young age? Absolutely. Then he was gone. That's swimming for you.

    The gifted Bernice Mene was at high school when called into the Silver Ferns; Jeff Wilson was 19 when he first played for New Zealand at cricket; 20 when, later the same year he pulled on the All Blacks jersey.

    Martin Crowe was 12th man for Auckland aged 15.

    His test career began against an unforgiving Australian attack in 1982, at 19.

    In time, that rough introduction long gone, if not forgotten, Crowe went on to become one of New Zealand's finest batsmen.

    Dan Vettori, chosen for his test debut at 18 years 10 days, against England in 1997, is New Zealand's youngest international and has gone on to a career of high accomplishment, which is still running, albeit derailed by injury of late.

    Wynton Rufer's goals helped New Zealand qualify for the 1982 World Cup. He was 19 and a stellar career at German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen ensued.

    Rufer's misfortune, if it can be so called, is that his most notable achievements were overseas, and therefore out of sight to the New Zealand sports public.

    We still recall how Anna Kournikova was going to take the tennis world by storm. She did, but not for her results. Barely remembered now, she failed to win a single WTA title.

    Fellow racket wielder Michael Chang won the French Open title at 17 in 1989, but that was to be his grand slam lot.

    Nadia Comaneci was scoring perfect 10s in the gymnastics arena at 14 in the 1976 Olympics.

    Mushtaq Mohammad, one of the celebrated Pakistani cricket clan, made his test debut in 1959, aged 15. He was an outstanding player over a 20-year career.

    His countryman Hasan Raza ridiculously started a year younger in 1996. He is now 30 and hasn't played a test for eight years.

    Weird are the ways of Pakistani cricket.

    Tiger Woods didn't win the first of his 75 PGA Tour titles until he was 20.

    So no, Ko is not quite at the top of the mountain in terms of achievements in one so young. But just think, in five years' time she still won't be 21

  2. #2
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    I was watching her yesterday playing in the last group at 18 under on the final day of the LPGA Australian Open Golf tournament in Canberra.

    Double bogeyed the first hole probably due to butterfly's but certainly a talent.

    There was also a very young 17 year old Thai kid who was up with the leaders but as I had to drive home from Hua Hin I missed the final result.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Coincidentally enough just seen this article and she's on her way here:

    Golf: Ko heads to Thailand tournament
    By Patrick McKendry
    1:54 PM Monday Feb 18, 2013

    New Zealand's golfing sensation Lydia Ko won't have much time to dwell on her disappointment of finishing third in the Australian Open - she is already on her way to a professional tournament in Thailand.

    Ko will compete in the Honda LGPA Thailand which starts on Thursday at the Siam Country Club in Chonburi before returning to New Zealand to take part in the NZ PGA Championship at the The Hills course near Queenstown from February 28.

    The 15-year-old captured the attention of the golfing world with her exploits at Royal Canberra, backing up from winning the New Zealand Open in Christchurch the weekend before with a 10 under par 63 in the first round.

    Two steady rounds of 69 and 70 kept her at the top of the leaderboard with eventual winner Jihai Shin before a disappointing round of 76 yesterday dropped her to third.

    A scratchy start, in which Ko double bogeyed the first hole and bogeyed the second, quickly put her three shots behind playing partner Shin.

    Despite a mid-round recovery, Ko was overtaken by Yani Tseng, finishing at 14 under to Shin's 18 under and Tseng's 16 under. World No1 Tseng, of Taiwan, is the two-time defending champion of the Honda LGPA Thailand.

    Ko's coach Guy Wilson said today that his charge was not affected by the slow playing of Shin. The Korean was warned by officials after her methodical approach to every shot put the pair behind schedule.

    "That wasn't to blame at all," he said.

    Wilson said Ko was looking forward to playing in Thailand and then returning to New Zealand for the Queenstown tournament.

    "It's a fun week for her. Her score isn't competing; she is down there as more of a celebrity."

    Wilson said Ko was unaware of the attention she was receiving around the world. In the United States, the Golf Channel changed its schedule to broadcast the final round live.

    "She doesn't really know too much about it back here in New Zealand. She will obviously be aware of what's on her Facebook and Twitter accounts and stuff like that but she doesn't really know the full picture. It's huge, there are so many people out there watching her.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy
    Double bogeyed the first hole probably due to butterfly's but certainly a talent.
    she recovered nicely after that first hole though.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    She could have her worst day ever to my best and she'd probably still kick my arse.

    Imagine that, being absolutely smashed by a 15yr old girl on the golf course!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    Ko will compete in the Honda LGPA Thailand which starts on Thursday at the Siam Country Club
    Just around the corner from my place and if I can get over this flu bug I have I might go for a walk around with her.

    If you look at the world top 50 lady golfers it is amazing how many of them are Asian or at least of Asian heritage.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy
    If you look at the world top 50 lady golfers it is amazing how many of them are Asian or at least of Asian heritage.
    Yeah I've noticed that. More and more Asian players coming up through the ranks on the men's tours as well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    Yeah I've noticed that.
    You may have also noticed that a lot of these ladies are of very solid stature and big mothers at that.

    The girl who won looked twice the size of the Kiwi lass and the reigning number 1 girly is a huge lady.

    I also have heard some of them can hit a drive 300 metres plus and I hope I get to see a couple of them do that at the Country Club.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy
    I also have heard some of them can hit a drive 300 metres plus and I hope I get to see a couple of them do that at the Country Club.
    Yards or meters?

    Anyway I wouldn't want to see that, it would be emasculating! Albeit I did manage a 300+ yard effort at the weekend myself.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntRobertson
    Albeit I did manage a 300+ yard effort at the weekend myself.
    I didn't realize you could play golf on the cement highways up your neck of the woods.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Bastard!

    I can honestly say that no paths, concrete, paved or any other type of roading played a part...

    I can't however say the same about the down-hill gradient of the 13th at Highlands golf course and what could've been a lucky ricochet off a staked tree at about 270 yards.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=AntRobertson;2363763]
    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy
    Albeit I did manage a 30+ yard effort at the weekend myself.
    Sure you did.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Your quote editing tomfoolery won't take the shine off my mighty achievement!

  14. #14
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    Did you facebook? Otherwise it didn't happen.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Better than that... I have witnesses and some of them are my Facebook friends!

    I freely admit I'm utter shit at golf, however on the odd occasion I manage to hit one it stays hit!

  16. #16
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    Did it land on the correct fairway?

  17. #17
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    Twat!

  18. #18
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    I notice that you avoided answering the question.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Yes it did!

    About 60 yards out from where I proceeded to leave my approach short on a long, tricky, green...











    ... And then three putted for a bogey.

  20. #20
    Mid
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    K1W1 is she ?

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Yep, Korean born but.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid View Post
    K1W1 is she ?
    Born Sth Korea 1997.

    Lydia Ko She began playing golf as a five-year-old when her mother took her in to a pro shop at the Pupuke Golf Club[5] on Auckland's North Shore owned by professional Guy Wilson who has been her coach ever since.
    Holds NZ citizenship.

    Close enough.

  23. #23
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    Golf: Ko moves up world rankings
    11:25 AM Tuesday Feb 26, 2013


    Lydia Ko eyes the green at the Thailand Open. Photo / Getty Images

    New Zealand's Lydia Ko has moved one spot up the women's world golf rankings after a top 20 finish in Thailand on Sunday.

    The 15-year-old, who was playing in Thailand after winning the ISPS Handa NZ Women's Open and finishing third at the Australian Open in consecutive weeks, had another fine week with a 14th placing at the Siam Country Club in Chonburi.

    The world's top amateur now sits in 25th spot in the rankings.

    Taiwan's Yani Tseng remains the number one ranked player in the world.
    Golf: Ko moves up world rankings - Sport - NZ Herald News

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