Lydia Ko: Making Her Own Choices On Her Own Time

Lydia Ko keeps setting new records. Last year she became the youngest player to win an LPGA Tour event, the CN Canadian Women’s Open, at 15 years old. This year, she successfully defended her title as a 16 year old and became the first amateur to win two LPGA events.

Lydia pretty much demolished the field with a 5-shot win over Karine Icher. She shot a 6-under 64 with just one bogey. Ko finished at 15-under and the two of them were the only players to reach double digits. All the more impressive when you know that all of last week’s big guns from the Solheim Cup were in the field, including England’s Charley Hull.

There is an unhurried meter to Lydia’s swing. She has full range of motion back to the top of her swing and then she just lets it smoothly accelerate back through the ball. She is a delight to watch. 

Of particular note is her maturity. She speaks in a quiet, near-monotone with a lilt to it that is oddly endearing.

And maybe that’s why everyone seems bound and determined to get her to turn pro just as soon as possible so that she can collect all of the treasure that she’s won. For these two tournaments alone, it totals $600,000.

Somehow, poor Lydia has become adopted by us. In her live, post-round interview on the Golf Channel, Brandel Chamblee incredulously wondered when she was going to turn pro and stop giving away her winnings. She warmly and graciously told him that this victory did have an impact on her decision, but for now she still had no plans to turn pro.

In a separate interview, she was asked if she really didn’t care that others where getting her money:

I don’t care.  I don’t care.  I can say that a couple times more, if you want.” –Lydia Ko laughing in response to whether she cares if she hasn’t pocketed the $600,000 from her two wins in Canada.

Michelle Wie went through the same thing with the media. Why was she wasting her prime years at Stanford when there was this budding career to be pursued? Ko has similar aspirations to go to college.

So my plea is, can we just leave her alone? Can we just let her live her life on her own terms? Can we just agree that she has two intelligent loving parents who want only the best for their precious daughter? Can we just let her have the pleasure of watching her life unfold at her pace and on her terms?

Can we just assume that this consideration about turning pro has been a topic of discussion in the family for some time now and that it’s not a sudden surprise option to them? Can we also just assume that between the three of them, they have a collective IQ high enough to handle this decision in a way that’s best for Lydia?

It may not match our time table to satiate our vicarious needs, but then it’s not our life, is it?

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