Days After Succumbing to Severe Penalty Strikes, LPGA Icon Lydia Ko Divulges Her Action Plan to End a 7-Year-Long ‘Major’ Dearth

Published 08/09/2023, 8:00 AM EDT

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LPGA icon Lydia Ko has been a pro golfer for over a decade. Indeed, she has seen some ups and downs in her golfing journey. In what was a downer for her at the 2023 Dana Open, she suffered quite a few penalties. During the final round in that tournament, things went south for the New Zealand golfer. Unlike the whole of round 3, preferred lies were only in place for holes 1 and 10 that day.

And Ko received penalties for not playing her ball from the original spot on holes 3, 7, and 9. Another penalty, though a milder one, came as she played hole no. 11. As a shock to everyone, including herself, the authorities gave her seven-stroke penalties. As now she prepares for the AIG Women’s Open starting Thursday, can she make up for the faux pas in a big way?

Lydia Ko reveals her mantra ahead of the AIG Women’s Open


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AIG Women’s Open, this season’s final major in women’s golf, runs from 10 to 13 August at Walton Heath Old Course, Surrey, England. Ashleigh Buhai is the defending champion at the event. Two-time major champion Lydia Ko is one of the 144 participants.

Ahead of the tournament in a media interaction, the New Zealand golfer opened up about her odds at the Women’s Open and what she feels about the course. A reporter asked if the previous major championship wins, even if seven years ago, boost confidence for current tournaments.


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She responded, “I think three of our events rotate to different golf courses. Three of our majors are at different golf courses. Sometimes when you go to a place like, let’s say, Evian, I know that I’ve won there before and I’ve got memories to draw back from, whether it’s good or bad, but the Women’s Open, it’s like a new experience every time.”


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She believes that no one has the advantage of “knowing the golf course very well. Because it is new, it is a fresh new book for everyone.” She calls it a “level-playing field.” Ko also recalled last year’s stunning match-up between Ashleigh Buhai and Chun In-gee, calling it an “impressive playoff.”

She also shared what she is planning to do all through the tournament. “I think it’s going to be a fun week, a tricky week, but I’m just trying to stay patient out there and try to play the best golf I can and see.” It looks like Lydia Ko is ready to move on from her penalty episode and take a shot at the Women’s Open. Ko also talked about what she feels about the current state of women’s golf.


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The golfing landscape has changed so much as per Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko has been playing for a while now as part of women’s tournaments. At the media event, she was asked how the golf scene has developed over the years and if any changes were significant. Ko believes the change is big, emphasizing that someone unfamiliar with golf today might say they know Charley Hull and not just Tiger Woods.


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Ko doesn’t feel great about her current form but she thinks by staying patient, things can change for the better. She may not have won a major since 2016 but write her off at your own peril. Form is temporary, class is permanent! Who knows the Women’s Open might be the big tournament win she has been eyeing for so long! What do you think? Can she win the tournament in England? Drop your comments below.

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Written by:

Manya Jain


One take at a time

Manya Jain is a promising golf writer at EssentiallySports. Despite being in her early days, Manya displays a strong passion for golf writing. The majors are Manya's forte, and their in-depth coverage is her creative fueling.
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Edited by:

Prateek Srivastava