Lydia Ko: 'Confidence is the 15th and most important club in the bag'

Updated 7:05 AM ET, Thu September 13, 2018

Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds.

On the face of it, it's the classic story of the sporting prodigy who burns twice as bright and half as long. Lydia Ko was the young golfer that achieved more as a teenager than anyone in the history of the sport. She was already winning professional tournaments at the age of 14 and became world No. 1 at 17, four years younger than Tiger Woods did in the men's game. Even now, with 15 LPGA Tour victories and two major titles under her belt, the New Zealander is still just 21.

And yet for many, it's hard to shake the feeling her best years might already be behind her. After holding the No. 1 ranking for 85 consecutive weeks and 104 overall as a teen, Ko failed to win a single tournament in the entirety of 2017. Ko is considerably younger than the current Rookie of the Year, Park-Sung hyun, and has already achieved more than most golfers do in a lifetime, but some commentators — not least her former coach David Leadbetter — are asking "What's wrong with Lydia?" and wondering if the Kiwi will ever hit the same heights again.