Lydia Ko Player Profile And Key Stats
Article Updated in February 2023
World number one Lydia Ko secured a massive victory by claiming the lucrative Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund after shooting a final round of 68 to finish one shot ahead of the pack.
The New Zealander was in second place entering the final day, just one off the lead, having recorded rounds of 64, 69 and 66.
It was a good start for the twice major champion who made an opening birdie, before a bogey on the second, but she soon picked up another birdie on the sixth.
Three more gains on her back nine (including a decisive blow on the 17th) was enough for Ko to seal a memorable success with a total of 21-under-par.
“I’m two for two on this golf course,” said Ko. “Clearly something is going for me! This is a golf course where, in the last few days and when I played in 2021, there were a few players that went from the back that would shoot low scores, so I just wanted to focus on my game.
“I don’t think I was setting myself up for a lot of birdie opportunities on the front nine, but I knew that every hole could be a birdie opportunity, so it was that mindset and I wanted to be aggressive.
“The 18th hole was a lot uglier than I would have liked to picture, but in the end it’s definitely nice to get the win this week.”
It was the perfect start to the year for Ko, who will now head to Thailand to play on the LPGA Tour.
“The scoreboard is right behind the green [on the 17th], so it was really hard to miss,” she explained. “I was more curious coming down the last because you could make eagle like Lilia [Vu] did yesterday, and so did Em [Pedersen].
“With this pin position I knew it would be tricky, but I just wanted to hit a couple of good shots. I had a really good second shot to set myself up for a wedge coming in. It was a little bit more stressful than I would’ve liked, but it doesn’t matter how you get it done.
“I’ve just been very grateful. A lot of great things happening, especially in the last few months again and again. You don’t know if this is real or not, but I’ve been trying to enjoy being out on the golf course!
“I’m playing with the world’s best. The field this week was really good, so I knew it was going to be a challenge. The first one of the year is really hard because you don’t have anything to base yourself off. You don’t know if you’re going to play well or badly. The start definitely helped, I stayed really patient and I was not as nervous as I thought I would be.”
Ko was born in Seoul on April 24, 1997, and has spent her career breaking and setting records.
Growing up in New Zealand, she began playing golf as a five-year-old when her mother took her into a pro shop at the Pupuke Golf Club in Auckland. The local pro, Guy Wilson, coached her until 2013, when he was replaced by David Leadbetter. She was a seven-year-old in March 2005 when she first came to the attention of the media, for competing in the New Zealand national amateur championships.
She was world number one in 2015 at the age of 17, the youngest male or female ever to achieve such status.
At 14, she was the youngest golfer to win a professional event and at 15 she became the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour. She is also the only amateur to have ever won two LPGA Tour events. When she won the Evian Championship in 2015 she became the youngest woman, at age 18 years, 4 months and 20 days, to win a major championship. Her closing round of 63 was a record lowest final round in the history of women's golf majors - a record she broke with a 62 at the ANA Inspiration in 2021. She had previously won the ANA Inspiration in 2016 for her second consecutive major championship, where she also became the youngest player to win two women's major championships.
She was born in Seoul but was brought up in New Zealand and in 2016 was named Young New Zealander of the Year.
Key Stats (LPGA Tour: 2022)
Driving Distance - 255.34 Yards
Driving Accuracy - 66.44%
Greens in Regulation - 72.88%
Sand Saves - 66.25%
Putts Per Round - 28.61
Scoring Average - 68.99
Last 5 Events
Aramco Saudi Ladies International - 1st
CME Group Tour Championship - 1st
Pelican Women's Championship - T26th
BMW Ladies Championship - 1st
The Ascendent LPGA - 3rd
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