Following her sensational 2015 season, world number one Lydia Ko has a very simple goal for 2016…to have fun.
The New Zealand superstar notched up five wins on the LPGA Tour and, most importantly, her first major at the Evian Championship in France. At 18-years-old, she became the sport’s youngest major winner by quite some margin.
Aside from the wins, Ko was ridiculously consistent, with 17 top ten finishes out of 24 LPGA events.
“Last year was much better than I expected,” Ko told the Tampa Bay Times before this weeks Coates Golf Championship in Florida.
“There are obviously high expectations going into this year, but I’ve just got to enjoy it. You never know what is going to happen, so the most important thing is to enjoy every moment. I feel like I play better when I’m in that mind-set.”
Ko’s achievements have lead to comparisons being drawn with legends such as Annika Sorenstam and Tiger Woods, though she feels they are undeserved.
“When I hear that, I don’t know that I deserve it,” continued Ko.
“Annika is legendary. She set some pretty high records. Tiger Woods, too. I feel like I shouldn’t be compared to them. I’ve got a long way to go. It is an honor to hear my name with those greats though.”
Sorenstam believes Ko is ushering in a new era of golf, with South Korea’s Inbee Park and Lexi Thompson from the US – who already has eight professional wins at 20-years-old – helping each other along.
“Lydia is setting all kinds of records already,” said Sorenstam.
“She is setting the pace for the next generation. There’s Inbee and Lexi also. It’s kind of a fun group to watch.”