‘Australian and New Zealand Rivalry’: Lydia Ko Comments on the Uncanny Liaison That Ended a Forgetful Season

Published 12/10/2023, 5:23 PM EST

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Jason Day and Lydia Ko hit the jackpot! The duo have truly managed to win big despite not being able to pull off an amazing season in 2023. What’s more, they did so at the first mixed-team event between the LPGA Tour and the PGA Tour since 1999, the Grant Thornton Invitational, scoring 190 over the three days, all the while beating their peers on the course.

However, neither of the teammates could have pulled it off alone. And, while doing so, the LPGA Tour pro divulged the reason behind them being able to bag the victory at the special event which indubitably led to a true blurring of boundaries, be it the two golfing circuits, or the two nations!

Lydia Ko’s secret to success at the Grant Thornton Invitational


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The first mixed-team event since the JC Penney Classic in 1999 has undoubtedly led to a true blurring of boundaries, be it the two golfing circuits or even nationalities. What’s more, the New Zealand professional was all praise for her partner and the tournament as a whole during the press conference after the team’s win.

Moreover, Ko, who won the event with Day, was spotted mentioning the same at the event as she said, “There’s normally an Australian and New Zealand rivalry, but that was not there this week.” Adding on, the Kiwi divulged how the male golfer and his caddie Luke Reardon were especially accommodating with her. On top of that, she revealed how the two “kept asking me(sic) questions” which helped her feel comfortable with the on-course pair easily. 


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Continuing, the 26-year-old indicated the true motive behind every athlete who played in the tournament. Moreover, she said, “I think we’re here for more than just the prize money and winning. It’s about the growth of the game,” all the while dubbing the event as “fun”. Additionally, the LPGA Tour pro also expressed hope for the future, “with the help of Grant Thornton, this is, I think, a start for so many more exciting things to come,” as she conveyed her excitement for the same.

By being able to clinch the special victory, the duo made themselves the first-ever champions of the inaugural edition of the Grant Thornton Invitational. Moreover, what makes it all the more special is the fact that it comes in a year when she was not able to make her mark in the sport.

Lydia Ko’s disappointing season in 2023


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Ko was not able to keep her momentum going into the year as she managed only a total of four top-10 finishes excluding the recent win. What’s more, she was unable to clinch back the top spot on the Rolex rankings in the year owing to a disappointing performance on the greens.

However, one can hope that the win at the Grant Thornton Invitational would act as a push for the golfer who would be looking for a better year in 2024. Moreover, she would hope to clinch back the various titles she lost as the defending champion in 2023 keeping her momentum intact from the current win. One can hope Ko gets back on her feet with this victory!


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Written by:

Allan Abe


One take at a time

My search for happiness eventually led me, Allan Abe, to the hallways of ES after dabbling in different fields. Following my childhood passion for the sport and coupling it with my passion for writing, the role of a golf writer was the perfect career path and has been more than a fruitful one. Through the live coverage and in-depth analysis of the lives of big stars like Tiger Woods and Jon Rahm, I have put to use all my journalistic-accolade-winning experience, from state-wide events to college competitions, to give the reader a great story with every piece.
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