Golf: Ko ready to go in latest major

World No 1 amateur Lydia Ko has enjoyed another remarkable season in 2013 and she wants to finish it off in style in her last event for the year - the Evian Championship in France.

The 16-year-old, who defended her title at the Canadian Open to become the youngest and the second-youngest winner on the LPGA Tour, is looking forward to playing her seventh major championship.

Ko has made a habit of rewriting history throughout her stellar amateur career and this week she will once again attempt to be the youngest major champion in golf history.

But, even though she is brimming with confidence in her current form, Ko is making sure she doesn't buy into the hype that surrounds her after an impressive win in Alberta.

"It would be amazing,'' she said "I would love to win a major championship. But I cannot get ahead of myself.

"A lot of people asked me that question before the British Open at St Andrews. I tried my best but the wind was really blowing in the second round and I was lucky just to make the cut. So you never know what you are going to get out here.''

Ko said the key to getting in contention among the best players in the world would be just treating it like any other tournament.

"I just try to stay focused on my own game and what I can do. Confidence is good because it helps you play well but you still have to hit good shots and make the putts to be in contention. It is a new week and a different challenge.''

The New Zealand Women's Open champion has not played a tournament since her win of the Canadian Open two weeks ago. She needed a break after being in the spotlight all week as the defending champion, with all the attention from the media and public making for a tiring tournament.

Ko said winning again on the LPGA Tour in 2013 was a goal at the start of the year, and to achieve that was very special as she eyed up the professional ranks.

"It gave me huge confidence and self-belief that I could win out here again. It helps me know that winning last year wasn't a fluke or anything. It means that I know I am good enough to play out here and compete with some very good players.''

Ko has settled in quickly into Evian-les-Bains which borders France and Switzerland. She said liked the Evian Golf Club as it stirred memories of one of her favourite course in New Zealand.

"It is very beautiful and there are a lot of great views from the course of the lake and the mountains in the area. It reminds me a lot of The Hills in Queenstown. It is a very beautiful place and we are lucky to play in places like this. I think the course will play tough for a major championship.''

At this stage this is Ko's final event for 2013. She has already backed up her 2012 season in phenomenal fashion, with two titles and eight top-10 finishes in pro events around the globe.

But, beyond all the success, she knows that back home a lot of school work is waiting for her.

"It is hard to cram like a whole year into a few months of study so it is going to be hard work again but it has been a fun year and I did the same thing last year and I did well with my exams.''

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a4 at 19 Sep 2014 04:00:14 Processing Time: 262ms