With her win a month ago at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, Lydia Ko notched victories in consecutive years for the first time since 2015 and 2016. It’s hard to fathom that the 24-year-old, who once sat atop of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings for 85 consecutive weeks, had gone that long without back-to-back winning years.
And because golf is such a funny game, Ko says her recent successes have as much to do with luck as they do skill.
“I've been putting myself in contention a lot and I think when you start doing that more often, you just get a little bit more confidence,” said Ko. “Week in, week out, the technique and skill things doesn't change that much. But when you get in a good rhythm of things, I think sometimes some putts that might have lipped-out, lips-in.
“For me when I won Gainbridge, I hit a shot that I think most of the time it would have gone out of bounds, but I got a really lucky kick off the tree and then I was in bounds and I was able to save par from there. Kind of things start falling your way and I've kind of been able to feed off that kind of momentum, just trying to keep it super simple and just being confident and having fun out there.”
Ko’s win in South Florida is just the most recent mark of success in her second career flourish. In her last 12 starts across multiple tours, she has 10 top-10 finishes, including her last seven straight. She now sits No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings after dropping as low as 50th in early 2020.
Ko now finds herself in Singapore, making her eighth consecutive appearance at the HSBC Women’s World Championship. She has never finished worse than 15th, including a runner-up finish in 2015, but has never been able to find the winner’s circle. Could this finally be Lydia’s year?
“I hope my chances are good. I mean, it would be a pretty bad start if I went into the week thinking my chances were not so good,” said Ko with a big laugh. “But in saying that, you know, we have World No. 1 Jin Young here playing this week. I know it's also Hyo Joo, the defending champion's first week in for this season. Inbee is a multiple-time winner here. So we have a lot of big names here. This is another great field this week. So it's going to be difficult but I've just got to focus on my game and play the best score I can.”