• Is defending her Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic title
• Leads after the first round with a five-under par 67
How did you spend your 18th birthday? A meal with family? A night out with mates? Well, for world Lydia Ko, it’s a case of capitalising on a one-shot overnight lead at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic as she looks to defend her title.
The win in San Francisco would be the world No.1’s seventh LPGA Tour victory and 11th in her career, a phenomenal achievement for a golfer who was born 11 days after a 21-year-old Tiger Woods won his maiden major title at the Masters.
And after her round yesterday, which included six birdies and a bogey, Lydia Ko played down any thoughts of celebrating her milestone in major fashion and quickly turned the subject back to her golf.
"I won’t change it because I’m one year older" - Lydia Ko
“Just going out to dinner, a group of us, so should be good,” said Ko after her first round. “, I’m just going to go with the game plan I have. Because we’re playing in the morning, it’s definitely going to fly a little less and the course is going tot play a little longer.
“In that aspect it’s different, but I won’t change it because I’m one year older. Really, I’m only one day older tomorrow.”
Last year’s Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic saw Lydia Ko’s first LPGA Tour win as a professional when she beat Stacy Lewis by one shot. It was her third overall though, as she was previously the youngest ever winner of an LPGA event at the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open as a 15-year-old, before going on to defend that title a year later.
The wins have continued to come on a regular basis for Ko, who won the Marathon Classic in July last year before then winning the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. Of course, she was then named 2014 Rookie of the Year.
This calendar year has brought yet more success, reaching world No.1 for the first time on February 2 after a runner-up finish at the Coates Golf Championship before winning in consecutive weeks at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open – his sixth LPGA win – and her home ISPS Handa Women’s NZ Open.
At the ANA Inspiration earlier this month, Ko equalled Annika Sorenstam’s record of 29 consecutive rounds under par, but the question now remains, when will the world No.1 win her first major title? It seems inevitable, and she’s got the four remaining tournaments this year to become the youngest ever winner of a women’s major.
Lydia Ko at 18 :: Your thoughts
Can Lydia Ko win a major this year and become the youngest ever winner of a women’s major title? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.