Lydia Ko can virtually claim to be an adopted Canadian. When her parents were considering moving from South Korea, one of the options was Canada before they chose New Zealand. She is also an honorary member at Vancouver Golf Club, the site of her first LPGA victory in 2012 as a 15-year-old amateur and again last week.
“I kind of feel like somewhat Canadian,” Ko said on Sunday. “The Canadian Pacific Women’s Open is such a great event, with the top players playing here, so every year I have fun.”
Even if Ko isn’t as familiar with the No. 1 sport in Canada, ice hockey.
“In New Zealand, I don't think we have ice hockey,” Ko said. “We have field hockey. So I don't really know much about it, but I sometimes see it on TV.”
With that in mind, Ko has accomplished so much at a young age. Here are some numbers:
- 1: The number of missed cuts in Ko’s career. She has made the cut in 59 of 60 career starts and has placed in the top 10 33 times (55 percent). Her only missed cut came at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in early June. Since then, in six starts, Ko has a win, two T3s and a T6.
- 5: Of her eight career LPGA wins, Ko has won five times at two events. Three of those came at the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, including two at the Vancouver Golf Club (2012 and last week). She has also won the Swinging Skirts Classic the last two years, both at Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco. That means half of her career wins have come at two courses.
- 6: The number of LPGA events this year won by teenagers, including Ko (three times, once at age 17, twice at 18); Brooke Henderson, 17; Minjee Lee, 18; and Hyo-Joo Kim, 19. That’s three times as many teen winners as those in their 30s (Cristie Kerr, 37; and Suzann Pettersen, 34).
- 7: The amount of victories recorded by Inbee Park in the last two seasons, the only player with more victories than Ko’s six.
- April 27, 1997: Ko was born two weeks after Tiger Woods won his first Masters in 1997.
- 35: The combined age of the last two winners on the LPGA, Brooke Henderson (17) and Ko (18). That’s another teen-ager younger than last week’s PGA Tour winner, 51-year-old Davis Love III.
- $600,000: The amount of money that went to the runners-up in the 2012 and 2013 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open when Ko won as an amateur. Inbee Park (2012) and Karine Icher (2013) took home first-place money those years ($300,000 each). Ko took home $337,500 for winning last week.
- $3,792,455: Don’t feel bad for Ko on missing out on those two paychecks in Canada. She has accumulated $3,792,455 in her short career, ranked 67th on the LPGA Career Money List. That’s $84,276 per start in her 45 career LPGA professional events.
Stacy Lewis getting closer
Despite losing a playoff to Lydia Ko in last week’s Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, Stacy Lewis more upbeat about her golf game.
“I’m really excited (about the Solheim Cup),” Lewis said. “I'm more excited now that I’m playing a little bit better. Gets you more excited for it.”
The second place last week was her fourth runner-up of 2015 and moved her to 0-3 in playoffs. Two of the playoff losses occurred this year – at the ANA Inspiration to friend Brittany Lincicome and last week to Ko.
Maybe this is the week where she will break a 14-month victory drought. The Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic has been kind to Lewis, with finishes of T6, win and second over the last three years.
Sweet Home Alabama
Alabama’s LPGA event is played on the Robert Trent Jones Sr., Golf Trail’s Capital Hill Senator Course in Prattville, Ala. The Trail is a series of courses at 11 different sites totaling 468 holes. The Trail is the largest golf course construction project ever attempted and was a part of a project funded by the Retirement Systems of Alabama that started in the 1980s.
Solheim Cup breakdown
With Tuesday morning’s announcement of the final four players on the European Team, the 24 players are set for the Solheim Cup, scheduled Sept. 14-20 in St. Leon-Rot, Germany.
Here’s a look at both sides:
|Stacy Lewis||Solheim Pts.||2-5-1 in 2011, ’13||Top-ranked American and highest ranked in field (No. 3 in the world)|
|Lexi Thompson||Solheim Pts.||1-2-0 in 2013||Was youngest American in 2013, now third youngest overall (behind Lee and Hull)|
|Cristie Kerr||Solheim Pts.||12-14-4 in seven starts||Most experienced American team member|
|Michelle Wie||Solheim Pts.||6-5-1 in three starts||Injured for much of 2015, with a WD and MC in last two August starts|
|Brittany Lincicome||Solheim Pts.||5-7-2 in four starts||Only major championship winner in the field (pending Evian Championship)|
|Morgan Pressel||Solheim Pts.||8-5-2 in four starts||One of three Americans with a winning overall record (Creamer, Lang)|
|Angela Stanford||Solheim Pts.||3-11-3 in five starts||Second in seniority behind Kerr with first start in 2003|
|Gerina Piller||Solheim Pts.||0-2-1 in 2013||One of three Americans (Lincicome, Thompson) among top 10 in LPGA Driving Distance|
|Alison Lee||Rolex Ranking||Rookie||Youngest American (16 days younger than Thompson) and only rookie in competition|
|Lizette Salas||Rolex Rankings||0-1-2 in 2013||Was a 2013 American rookie alongside Thompson, Piller|
|Paula Creamer||Captain’s Pick||12-6-5 in five starts||Winningest American on the team is 9-4-5 in doubles|
|Brittany Lang||Captain’s Pick||5-4-2 in three starts||Unbeaten in singles competition (2-0-1)|
|Suzann Pettersen||Norway||LET Pts.||14-9-6 in seven starts||Tied with Kerr, Matthew for most career Solheim starts on these teams|
|Gwladys Nocera||France||LET Pts.||5-3-2 in three starts||Longest gap from last start (2009) in this year’s competition|
|Charley Hull||England||LET Pts.||2-1-0 in 2013||At age 19, youngest player in the field|
|Melissa Reid||England||LET Pts.||1-3-0 in 2011||Made team on LET points with good finish in final week|
|Anna Nordqvist||Sweden||Rolex Ranking||6-5-1 in three starts||Most LPGA wins in last two years (three) of any European player|
|Azahara Munoz||Spain||Rolex Ranking||4-3-1 in 2011, ’13||Coming back from hand surgery earlier this season|
|Sandra Gal||Germany||Rolex Ranking||0-2-1 in 2011||Home country favorite, along with Masson|
|Carlota Ciganda||Spain||Rolex Ranking||3-0-0 in 2013||Led Europe to second consecutive victory as rookie in 2013|
|Caroline Hedwall||Sweden||Captain’s Pick||7-1-1 in 2011, 2013||Went 5-0-0 in European victory in Colorado|
|Karine Icher||France||Captain’s Pick||3-3-1 in 2002, 2013||Finished T9 last week in Vancouver, her first top 10 of 2015|
|Caroline Masson||Germany||Captain’s Pick||2-1-1 in 2013||Won two four-balls in 2013, paired with Hedwall|
|Catriona Matthew||Scotland||Captain’s Pick||12-9-8 in seven starts||At age 46, the oldest player in this year’s field|
The Thompson brothers may be headed for a September showdown. The older brothers of LPGA star Lexi Thompson are in position to play in the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-tournament series that determines 2016 PGA Tour cards. Curtis is 68th entering the final regular-season tournament in Portland, Ore., this week and the top 75 qualify for the Finals. Nicholas finished 131st on the PGA Tour points list. Nos. 126-200 qualify for the Finals. … This week’s Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Alabama will be the final American LPGA event until the season finale. The LPGA goes to Europe, Asia and Mexico before finishing Nov. 19-22 at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla. … This week’s Yokohama Tire LPGA Championship will air on Golf Channel from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., EDT Thursday and Friday and 5-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. … With his win in Greensboro, N.C., last week, Davis Love III was the third-oldest winner in history. The oldest LPGA winner? Beth Daniel, age 46 years, 8 months, 29 days, at the 2003 BMO Financial Group Canadian Women’s Open.