The secret to Lydia Ko's success

By Wynne Gray

Repeat major champion Lydia Ko says a key to her golfing success is having fun on the course.

"I play better when I am laughing or smiling or having fun out there. Obviously you need to be serious and focus on the shot you need to hit," she told the Paul Henry breakfast show.

"But during the breaks when you are walking up to the next shot or walking up to the green there is still so much to enjoy about it and I am just trying to enjoy being out there with the girls and having fun."

Ko sounded as though she had collected a cold after taking the traditional winner's leap into Poppie's Pond after winning the ANA Inspiration at the Mission Hills course in California.

She had not worried about her rivals in the last round of the tournament, she followed her regular pattern of concentrating on her own game as she plotted her way through the drama.

Listen: Coach David Leadbetter on Ko's latest major win

Later this week, Ko travels to the Masters to receive her Golf Writers Association of America player of the year award before flying to Hawaii to play in the Lotte Championship.

With her usual grace, Ko accepted questions which compared her impact to Tiger Woods.

She hoped her style would encourage more juniors to take up the sport. She had never met Woods but hoped to have that honour one day.

Lydia Ko talks to the Golf Channel after winning the ANA Inspirational

Meanwhile, Ko's thrilling win has led to a stunning accolade from one of sport's biggest players - ESPN.

Columnist Melissa Isaacson said Ko now led the debate on the topic "Who is the greatest teenage athlete in history?"

Under the headline 'Lydia Ko makes case for greatness with second straight major' she said Ko "should also be lauded for the almost frighteningly tranquil manner in which she has done it."

Traditional news outlets were more conservative in their reporting of Ko's victory in the ANA Inspiration in California.

The New York Times headline read 'Lydia Ko's Victory Is Her 2nd in a Row In Majors'.

But Isaacson showed no such restraint, glowing in praise for her dedication to the game.

"...she prefers to focus on her game rather than going after endorsements that could at least help make her one of the most recognised athletes in the world," she wrote.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 28 Sep 2016 05:37:05 Processing Time: 619ms