Lydia Ko has credited veteran golfer Stacy Lewis for a piece of "eye-opening" advice that helped her get back to playing her best.
The Kiwi former world number one has followed up her drought-breaking victory at the Lotte Championship in April with a string of strong performances this year, including a win at the lucrative Saudi Ladies International earlier this month, bronze at the Tokyo Olympics and a number of top 10 finishes.
It's been a sensational turnaround for Ko, who slumped to a 1084-day winless streak following her rise to the top of the world rankings at the ripe age of 17.
Now still only 24 years old, Ko has risen back to a world number five ranking thanks to her consistent performances this season, while she also cracked the top 10 in the all-time LPGA prizemoney list after finishing in a tie for second place at the Pelican Women's Championship last week.
Speaking ahead of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Florida this week, Ko reflected on her rise back to the top since her win in Hawaii in April.
"Winning in Hawaii was more proving to myself that, hey, I can be back in the winner's circle, even if you come second like five times," Ko said.
"That's great and you know that your game is there. But to take it to the next step I feel like it's giving that reassurance to yourself. I think that was a huge thing for me in Hawaii.
"Then obviously winning in Saudi as well. I think every win is meaningful in different ways. For me, I think Hawaii was just a little bit more of a confidence booster."
Ko also spoke about her change in mentality that has helped her bounce back from her struggles with form, a shift she says was sparked by a conversation with American former world number one Lewis.
"It's different," Ko said when asked about her mentality compared to 2015 and 2016. "I think there was a point where I was very comparative to myself when I was number one in the world. I think at that point I was just comparing myself to the past, and that's kind of not the place I wanted to be at.
"Stacy Lewis was actually somebody that advised me to say, hey, you've got to be the best version of yourself now and not try to be who you were in the past. It meant a lot for somebody like her to say that to me, and then I think it really hit me then.
"Obviously she has been the world number one and everything ... It meant a lot for me for her to say that. I think it was a really eye-opening thing and for me to look at it in a different perspective."
She said her newfound perspective has translated on the golf course, while experience has helped improve a few aspects of her game.
"I'm different every tournament; every experience changes you. For the good or the bad, I don't know. That's why I said age is just a number, but experience is a whole new thing.
"I'm hitting it longer than before, than in 2015-16, so that's probably one of the biggest things within my game. But I feel like just my game itself is very different; how I approach things is different as well."
Ahead of the final tournament of the season, Ko said she believes she is playing the most consistent golf of her career, but perhaps more importantly, is happy and loving life.
"I think it's been a meaningful season for me on and off the golf course. It's been a season within my game where I probably played some of the most consistent golf I have in my whole career.
"Obviously that's a great state to be in, because the more times you put yourself in contention you feel like at one point it's going to fall towards your way.
"Having won for the first time in three years and then I think [first] in over five years on the LET (Ladies European Tour), definitely meaningful in that sense.
"Also a lot of great things off the course as well … I was actually talking to my mental coach about it, but it's been I think some of the happiest moments in my short 24 years. It's been a year to remember. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the season off strong here and enjoy Thanksgiving and the Christmas holidays."
Ko tees off at the CME Group Tour Championship in the early hours of Friday morning.