15-year-old New Zealander Lydia Ko may not have won the Australian Women&aposs Open at Royal Canberra but she let no-one down in her attempt to do so when finishing third behind Jiyai Shin and Yani Tseng. While some will feel disappointed she was unable to go on with it and continue her amazing run in significant events of late, she has hardly failed. It is important to remember when considering her efforts this week that she beat all but the world number one and the world number eight and those players aside she defeated a significantly stronger field than that she conquered in Christchurch last week. The expectations on Ko are now at a point where they are perhaps unreasonable. After all, before she won in Canada last year there would be many who would have been stunned by her finishing third in an LPGA Tour event. Now, having achieved the goal of winning an LPGA Tour event, there were many who felt she would go on with it today. From her brilliant opening round of 63 on Thursday to her fight back from a disastrous start on day four, Ko thrilled the crowds with her outstanding skills and her equally impressive demeanour. She recovered after dropping three shots in the first two holes to rejoin her overnight co-leader, Jiyai Shin, before eventually dropping out of contention with bogeys at the 14th and 17th holes but she can look back at this week as yet another great learning experience. “I mean obviously there are points and aspects where I do need to learn,” said Ko at her post event press conference. “Like, to me, today I think I realised that you know, after a bad hole it kind of carried onto the next hole. “Yeah, I mean, like you can see, Jiyai Shin didn t really matter what she had on one hole, the next hole it was pretty fresh. So yeah, those are the kind of aspects I learnt. You know, I played with some big names out there this week, so yeah, I was very privileged to play with them.” Many of the large crowds who flocked to Royal Canberra this week did do because they were intrigued to see how a 15 year old would go about her business in such an intense environment. They fell in love with her and they are likely to be lifelong Lydia Ko converts. While suggesting she was a little tired she made no excuses. “I didn t feel I was tired, but yeah, I guess I might have come a bit tired, but you know, I ve got another tournament next week and if I really want to go on tour I ll be playing three or four weeks in a row, so those are the kind of things I will need to build up to.” “Still, third in a professional tournament is a pretty good result and yeah, I can t say I m not fully pleased. I mean, I was disappointed with how I played today, but in some respects it was good but I think it was just a couple of drives and there was just one part of the game.” She summed it up as well as anyone. Lydia Ko let no-one down this week including herself.
Author: Bruce Young / womensaustralianopen.com