By Julie Williams | Follow on Twitter @GolfweekJules
A phone conversation doesn’t do justice to Lydia Ko’s personality. Ko is your atypical witty, dry, thoughtful and driven adolescent, but at 5 p.m. on a Saturday in New Zealand (yes, that’s 3 a.m. Saturday EST), Ko’s thick Kiwi accent comes across the line as all business.
For all intents and purposes, the 14-year-old Ko has just stepped out of “the office.” After shooting a third-round 69 at the Australian Ladies Masters in Queensland, she laughs a little at the suggestion that a flawless final round could bump her into contention. She trailed leader So Yeon Ryu by 12 after Round 3, and eventually finished in a tie for 32nd, the low amateur.
Ko entered the event a week after winning her first professional title at the New South Wales Open. It made her the youngest winner of a professional golf tournament in history. Ko, the top-ranked amateur in the world, dethroned Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa for that distinction.
“I don’t even know if it has sunk in or not,” Ko said. “It was a great feeling, just coming off the 18th and knowing that I won was just awesome.”