Thursday, January 17, 2019 | ePaper

Golf 'phenom' Ko keen to move on from teenage wonder years

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Lydia Ko made global sporting headlines in 2012 when as a bespectacled 15-year-old amateur she triumphed at the Canadian Women's Open, becoming the youngest winner of an LPGA Tour event.
But spectators in Shanghai, where she finished tied second in the inaugural Buick LPGA event on Sunday, could have been forgiven for failing to recognise the Seoul-born New Zealander.
Now 21 and with the glasses long-since ditched in favour of contact lenses, Ko has dyed her hair blond and by her own admission lost weight over the past year.
Is the new look -- she first sported the striking hair colour two weeks ago -- an attempt to break with the past?
"If I keep comparing myself to when I was player of the year or I was doing this, that or other things, it makes it so much harder," the good-natured Ko told AFP in Shanghai.
"Rather than say, 'Hey, oh my god, I did this then, I'm just not up to that standard'... I'm just trying to play the best golf I can currently and I think that's a better mindset to put myself in."
Ko's stunning win in Canada was the start of a run that saw her surge to number one in the world at 17, the youngest to do so in men's or women's golf.

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