The IX: Golf Thursday with Carly Grenfell, August 13, 2020
What golf taught us last week — Lydia Ko discusses tough loss — Must-click links in women's golf
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What Golf Taught Us Last Week
Golf is a game of ups and downs.
Golf is an emotional rollercoaster.
Golf also teaches us a lot of life lessons.
Lessons ranging from patience and persistence, to sportsmanship and overcoming adversity. Last week golf brought us a whole lot of good: Lydia Ko classy as ever in defeat, and Rory McIllroy’s response to a ruling at the PGA Championship.
After a report accidentally stepped on Rory’s ball in the rough at TPC Harding Park last weekend, he asked for a ruling. After he was able to drop the ball, he thought the lie was too good; better than before. So what did he do? He pushed it down a little bit lower in the rough and ended up making bogey on that hole. Bottom line: he asked for a worse lie when he didn’t have to. That exudes sportsmanship and character. He didn’t have to do that. I don’t think many other golfers would have done what he did. Quite frankly, our world could use more Rory McIlroys!
Sometimes golf gives us timely life lessons like this one. But Lydia Ko’s crash and burn at the Marathon Classic, and her response afterwards, is a cut above the rest. If you didn’t catch the finish, here’s a quick summary of what happened. On the final hole, Ko had a one-shot lead over Danielle Kang. Her tee shot set her up for a solid second shot onto the green and things went awry from there. She only needed a par to win for the first time in over two years.
Ko hit her third shot through the green, ending up in the rough next to Kang’s lie in the bunker. Kang’s bunker shot failed to make it on the green, but did manage to escape the bunker, ending up in the rough short of the green. Ko, needing an up-and-down for par, then botched her chip, which rolled all the way back into the bunker that Kang just exited. Ko’s fifth shot from the bunker finally ended up on the green, but she then faced about 10 feet for bogey. (via Golf.com)
At this point, Ko just needed to make a bogey to force the playoff with Kang. She ended up with a double-bogey on a par 5 and opened the door to World No. 2 Kang’s second consecutive victory on the LPGA this season. Aren’t you gutted just reading that experience? I was out at the PGA Championship in San Francisco all last week for work, so I wasn’t able to watch it live. Based on golf’s Twitter reactions, it sounded like a tough hole to watch and a really unfortunate experience for Ko herself.
The good part: how she handled defeat. Surely that would have been emotional, especially for a player who has struggled since her early stardom and success on the LPGA, to face and handle afterwards with the media. It hasn’t been a very smooth couple of years to get back to her best golf. She’s had new coaches. A new caddy. And just hasn’t been the same since her World No. 1 ranking as a young gun.
I won’t give too much away as you can hear from Lydia down in the interview section, but let’s just say her perspective was really refreshing. Given our world as we know it today, it’s almost like her response could apply to all of us. It’s one day at a time. It’s focusing on the positives. It’s deciding to move on and continue to be the best we can possibly be. I have always been a Lydia Ko fan, but that was a pretty defining moment for her: classy in defeat.
Today I choose to focus on the positive, too. I truly feel that golf, as our CEO Seth Waugh often says, is an engine of good. Rory and Lydia proved that last week specifically. Of course, golf has its flaws. There are ways it can grow and be better—but isn’t that pretty much everything in life? Golf teaches us so many things. But this week, it’s about doing the right thing when no one’s watching and about losing with grace. I don’t know who needed to hear this today, but hopefully someone did.
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This Week in Women’s Golf
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Round 1 of the Ladies Scottish Open in the books! Here’s the leaderboard thru 18 holes. (via LPGA.com)
Here’s how and where you can watch the Ladies Scottish Open this weekend. (via ladiesscottishopen.com)
Charley Hull, Georgia Hall talk more about the Wentworth fires. (via Golfweek)
Take a look at the pre-tournament notes ahead of the Ladies Scottish Open. (via LPGA.com)
Lydia Ko lost in brutal fashion last week, but handled it with pure class. (via LPGA.com)
LPGA Shanghai tournament canceled in October to COVID-19. (via ESPN)
Wondering what’s helped out Danielle Kang on tour? Here are a few keys to her success. (via LPGA.com)
Maria Fassi struggled to make cuts in her rookie season, but seems to be finding her groove after Toledo. (via LPGA.com)
Lexi Thompson’s caddie trolled Bryson DeChambeau and it’s amazing. (via The Spun)
In a first, three Indians will tee it up on the LPGA Tour this week. (via Sports Star)
LPGA’s second major, the ANA Inspiration, to be played without fans. (via New York Times)
Jackie Stoelting had her first child and hasn’t skipped a beat since. (via TC Palm)
Natalie Gulbis returning in 2021 for a final season. (via Toledo Blade)
Rose Zhang upsets defending U.S. Women’sAmateur Champion Gabriela Ruffels for the 2020 title.
Another caddie tests positive for COVID-19, and his player pays the price. (via Golfweek)
What happens when a player forgets to sign her scorecard? Azahara Munoz knows. (via Twitter)
Stacy Lewis made a swing change the she things will extend her career. (via Golfweek)
Tweet of the Week
Five at The IX: Lydia Ko
You’ll definitely want to hear from Lydia Ko following her round at the Marathon Classic. As elaborated on earlier, it wasn’t an easy loss to take. Although the winning drought continues, her perspective and attitude is setting her up for a win very, very soon.
I. How she felt after the third round with a lead: My back pain might be lingering tomorrow but I just have to go out there and swing freely; not worry about this. I think the more I think about it, the more I’m going to be tentative, and I need the exact opposite of that.
II. On if she was feeling any differently than 2016 when she won: I think in 2016, it was the year I won in a playoff, I think four players. Those were top players. I don’t know how I was going into the round; I feel like all my wins have been different situations where I come back and take the lead or have the lead. I think it’s more important to go out there and concentrate on my game to the point I don’t know what I’m shooting. There’s a lot of girls playing well and could see someone shooting a really low score. It’s never really out of reach. I have to go out there, play my game, play confidently and play strategically.
III. On her mindset coming into the final round: Obviously I would have loved to have been the one holding that trophy. But I think if somebody said, ‘hey you’re going to be second at Marathon,’ coming down the stretch, I would have said ‘okay, cool, i’ll take that.’
IV. On the end result: You have to see the positives. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be disappointed and think, I should have done this over that. But when you look back at everything and you take everything apart, you’re going to have so many things to see negatively and think negatively about. But I think there are so many positives this week and overall I feel more confident in my game.
V. After some time to reflect: Been receiving overwhelming love from so many people these past few days! Thank you all for thinking of me and supporting me. I believe it just wasn’t meant to be, and I will take all the positives and grow as a stronger person and player. New Week New Opportunity. Onwards and Upwards.