Lydia Ko is one of the LPGA Tour’s best players. However, that didn’t stop the world No.3 having a ‘mental breakdown’ when she bumped into Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia.
When the New Zealander walked past the range on the final day of last week’s US Open Championship, she couldn’t believe it when Els and Garcia asked to meet her.
“After I met one, I kind of had a mental breakdown. I wasn’t functioning for a while,” Ko joked ahead of her opening round at Pinehurst at this week's US Women's Open, a week later than the Men's event.
“It was just really cool. I probably won’t be able to see the PGA Tour players for a long time again. Hopefully, this kind of thing might happen more often. I was just super excited that some of them knew who I was.”
"He gave us a handshake. That was pretty cool to kind of do it during his round." - Lydia Ko
It wasn’t just Els and Garcia who Ko was speaking to at Pinehurst as she prepares for the US Women’s Open. The 17-year-old also met up with big-hitting American Gary Woodland.
“I really wanted to meet Gary,” said Ko. “He’s part of Callaway now, and I was watching on Sunday, on the 17th hole, and he came up to me and another player, Sue Kim, and gave us a handshake. That was pretty cool to kind of do it during his round.”
Lydia Ko was also spotted in the crowds following Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott last week as she soaked up the atmosphere at Pinehurst No.2. Although, this week, she is sure to have a few followers of her own as she goes for her first major victory.
Caddy’s autograph ahead of Lydia Ko’s?
On the bag this week, Ko has one of the PGA Tour’s most recognisable caddies, Mike ‘Fluff’ Cowan, who normally teams up with Jim Furyk, and who caddied for Tiger woods when he won his first major.
“I think, personally, he’s more famous than me,” Ko said of Cowan. “I was walking down with David Leadbetter, Mike and I, and a lot of people were asking for their autographs.”