Lydia Ko's coach has revealed the reasons behind her return to the top of golf ahead of the US Women's Open on Friday, saying she is back to playing like her 16-year-old self.
Ko, who broke her three-year winless streak in April at the Lotto Championship, has continued her stellar form ahead of the second major of the season with five top-10 results so far this year.
The 24-year-old now sits at No 8 in the world golf rankings and is second behind leader Nelly Korda in the season-long Race to the CME Globe.
One of the reasons for her return to form has been her work with swing coach Sean Foley, who has helped the 24-year-old rediscover what made her so dominant during her teenage years.
Foley says Ko's successful season so far has ultimately come down to hard work.
"It's so many things," Foley told Newstalk ZB's Matt Brown. "Just how hard she works. All the stuff she tries to do in the gym, her running. She's just the epitome of what a professional is.
"The way her body is moving. There are many parts of her swing right now that almost look exactly like it did when she was 16 years old. When you're trying to swing in a way you're not designed to, it's not going to work out.
"[She] and I have worked on the exact same thing since the first time I ever had a lesson with her, which was making sure she didn't aim right, and then making sure she worked on having a better club face position at the top and more width in her swing. I've never even veered off the first thing I told her.
"It's just like a salute to her because she works so hard at it and puts so much faith in it. That's why she's reaping the rewards of doing it. I think she's enjoying playing again, and I think it helps that you're doing well, but it just helps to have clarity and understanding and recognise why things happen."
Foley also paid tribute to Ko's intelligence as a reason behind her comeback.
"The thing about Lydia that's really blown me away, I wouldn't say I'm surprised, but her intelligence level is really, really high. When I break things down technically, what I end up asking them to do isn't technical whatsoever, but she can contemplate it at a very high level. I think she just really understands now.
"She shows up every day and does the exact same things. There's no searching, there's no tinkering. And there's an understanding that one day is going to feel unbelievable and the next day is not, but that doesn't mean you move away from what the blueprint is.
"I can't really put my finger on anything except that I've given her things that are very good for her and then she just does it a lot. Like I can give a player something to do and when they come back, I'm like 'you need to do it more' or for longer or whatever. With Lydia, she can almost overdo something in two weeks when she does it so much.
"I just think she's playing how she should play. She's Lydia Ko. Outside of a bad stretch that happened for whatever the reasons, there's many, she's kind of back to being her again, but a little more powerful and a little more athletic."
Ko will be looking to win her first major since 2016, having come agonisingly close to breaking the drought at the ANA Inspiration earlier this year where she finished in second.
To do that, she'll have to navigate the difficult Olympic Club in San Francisco, which doesn't necessarily play to her strengths.
Ko ranks 116th in driving accuracy on the tour this year and will need to improve at a course that punishes players for missing fairways, with long roughs and small, fast greens.
However, Foley paid no attention to the particulars of the tournament, saying Ko will focus on herself and stick to her game like she has been all season.
"When it comes to major championships, there's so many extra variables with the rough and the green speeds and the difficulty of the golf courses. The greatest players in the world show up but it's not always safe to say that the best player wins because there's stuff that goes into that. I'm just glad to see her smiling and enjoying golf and getting longer and learning more different skillsets with different ball flights.
"I think she's averaged seventh placed in the last 12 tournaments ... I would imagine she would finish in the top 10. That's one thing that we've said, you should never finish outside the top 10 with all of your skills.
"To me if she wins, great. If she doesn't, I just show up at work the next day."
Ultimately, Foley was thankful to be able to work with an athlete like Ko, who he said is "one of my favourite people I've ever been around my whole life".
"She's not just an amazing player, she's one of the greatest competitors of her generation with the warmest heart. Like the idea that you can't be kind and competitive, she kills that scenario."
Ko will tee off at 8.51am on Friday morning with China's Shanshan Feng and two-time US Open champ Inbee Park of South Korea.