By Julie Williams, Golfweek
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. –- For a 15-year-old world beater, Lyida Ko has a modest outlook. When it was time for Ko to take the podium Wednesday for a pre-Kraft interview, she took the seat former World No. 1 Yani Tseng had occupied minutes before. Tseng was among the players to sing Ko’s praises here. The 15-year-old has a legitimate chance to win this tournament.
“I think everyone is being overly too nice,” Ko said with a straight face.
Tseng remembers Ko making this game look easy when they played together at the Women’s Australian Open. Ko shot 63 that day.
“She smiled, and after she made a putt, she was like, ‘Thank you, thank you very much.’ It was so easy. ... I think I was like that when I played my best. It’s just that easy.”
But Ko already has three professional victories, and knows what it’s like to have to have fans and media clamoring for her time. It’s made the game that much more exciting, yet that much more serious.
“Obviously I’m trying my best out here, but I’ve come here for the experience,” she said.
As usual, Ko has made this trip stateside a golf sojourn. So far this week, the In N’ Out has been good to Ko, who is traveling only with her mother Tina. Back home in New Zealand, Ko only knows of one similar burger joint – a Carl’s Jr.
Most American perks await when Ko travels to Hawaii later in the month for the LPGA LOTTE Championship. She’s never been to that state.
Ko continues to chart her own path – racking up unprecedented success, learning to deal with the attention on her own, and soon, perhaps, playing sink or float in Poppie’s Pond. Asked if she can swim, Ko replied, “Well, I hope so. We’ll see then.”