Lydia Ko Ends LPGA Season on Top

Say the name Lydia Ko a few weeks back and you might get a few confused looks. That was pretty much the type of response that the young lady’s mere mention seemed to elicit while her fellow LPGA competitors like Nelly Korda and Brooke Henderson seemed to be headed on a track of increasing popularity. Add Lexi Thompson’s steady top 10 finishes and competitive Sunday rounds and you could see where Lydia Ko might not have risen to the top of many people’s radar.

Personally, I remain delighted to see Korda, Henderson and Thompson play their hearts out. I think that they all are deserving of the fury of fandom that has arisen for them. However, I find that Lydia Ko has demonstrated another side of professional golf that many fans seem to forget along the way.

Promising Early Years

Look back on Lydia Ko’s early years in the professional ranks. At one point up until 2017, Ko was the youngest player to win an LPGA event at age 15. She set the record on August 26, 2012, when she won the Canadian Women’s Open at age 15. That’s remarkable but not the only thing.

In 2015, Ko rose through the LPGA ranks to become the youngest golfer on the LPGA Tour ranked No. 1. Considering the level of competition and the amount of hard work and dedication required to maintain throughout a professional golf tour, Ko demonstrated an ability to hang among the top players early on in her career.

The Struggle Got Real for Ko

Professionals are not immune to what happens in the world. In fact, their world seems to either explode or implode based upon what’s happening around them and within them and their inner circle. The emotional drain and the pressure from the press can seem to eat away at the joy of fulfilling a lifelong dream of success at the sport a pro loves to compete in time and time again.

Lydia Ko was not immune to the bad press either, especially as she sought to remain among the top-ranked LPGA players. During her down times, it probably didn’t help her professional motivation when she was struggling professionally and people started pointing fingers in the press. Her former coach David Leadbetter blamed her parents in 2019.

Her struggles on the course showed up in different ways:

The fat-shaming and other psychological stress can take it’s toll on a person, even a professional golfer with promise and potential. In an interview with Henni & Hally, a more personal side of Lydia Ko was shown to reveal how “she’s just like everybody else.”

At the end of the day, Lydia Ko struggled for a matter of time within her career. Let’s not get too judgmental about it, though. Tiger had his struggles. Lefty has had his low points. We could name a slew of pros who haven’t always made it to the top 10 finishes and some who have not always made the cut. Ko’s struggles are not limited to her career alone.

Her Return to Glory

Lydia Ko golf swing in slow motion

One golf journalist called Ko’s swing “picture perfect.” Some have pointed out how the slow motion videos of her golf swing reveal her training to achieve that turn. I think that her golf swing, especially with a driver, stands out as one of her mainstays.

Admittedly, Ko says that her slump period had her not leaving herself in contention to compete for any type of championship finishes. But all of that seems to be in the past. It seems as though she’s shaken off the down times and approached the game with a newfound vigor.

With her recent finish at the CME and taking the Rolex Player of the Year, Lydia Ko finished the 2022 LPGA season back on top among the best of the LPGA. With that $2 million dollar CME purse and her upcoming wedding in focus, it appears that Lydia Ko is on top of the world.

Let’s see what next season brings about.

Special Livestream Guest Mark Teran of Piped Golf

Have you ever imagined being a professional golfer?

No, man. I’m serious. Has that ever been a personal aspiration of yours, something that you fantasize about during daydreams?

Piped Golf isn’t a pipe dream for a very determined man. It’s part of a systematic and strategic master plan of Mark Teran on his quest to play golf with the best on the PGA Senior Tour.

Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce returns on Tuesday, 11-22-22, at 9 AM PST. This week’s special guest will be Mark Teran of Piped Golf. This chat will be streamed live on YouTube and available on the podcast Wednesday morning.

Recorded 10/31/22 @ Cottonwood Golf Club (El Cajon, CA)

Mark Teran has a story to share that many golfers need to hear, especially those who have thought about joining the professional ranks in their golden years. Learn more about Mark Teran and Piped Golf as well as his work with PGA senior players as a caddie and as a Monday qualifier. His personal story will make you want to root for him in his professional pursuits.

Meanwhile, check out Mark’s golf swing on a par 5 approach shot.


Coffee & Chat with Rev Bruce has been part of Life Path Multimedia Ministries since 2020. Inspiring words, intriguing stories and implementable tips and to-do’s from all kinds of people and for people who want to live changed lives and leave a legacy of impact on the world. You can support the podcast for as low as .99 cents per month. This will help with production quality as well as exclusive supporter and member perks in the coming months.

Listen to any or all of the prior podcast episodes.

LPGA CME Group Tour Championship Race to the Top of the Leaderboard for the Final Round

This year’s top 60 LPGA players in women’s golf have been going at it in the CME Group Tour Championship. There’s a $2 million prize for the outright winner. On top of that, the Rolex Player of the Year Award is on the line as well. Past Rolex Player of the Year winners include Lydia Ko (2015) who was tied for first place in the CME Group Tour Championship going into this final round. This final round is bound to be eventful.

Round 3 Made it a Race

In Round 1, Lydia Ko made her presence known and set the tone for much of the tournament, finishing atop of the leaderboard ahead by 1 stroke. Going into Round 2 with such a slight lead, Lydia Ko separated herself from the leaderboard pack with a 66 as other top players averaged higher scores. By the time Round 2 ended, Ko had a comfortable 5 shot lead.

But any of us who have played the game of golf know that means nothing when there is plenty more golf to play.

Things heated up when Leona Maguire shot a 63 in Round 3. Shooting a 70 in Round 3 didn’t help Ko’s quest for regaining a Rolex Player of the Year Award, but it was enough to keep her tied at the top of the leaderboard. Both players ended the round 5 strokes ahead of 2 players tied for third place on the leaderboard as well as 6 strokes ahead Brooke Henderson and Anna Nordqvist tied for fifth place.

Stellar play in that third round helped both Maguire and Henderson make their runs for the top of the leaderboard. Maguire shot a stunning 63 for the round to match her 66 and 66 for the first 2 rounds, while Henderson shot a solid 65 to make a strong push towards the top after sitting tied for 26th going into Saturday’s round. Nordqvist has remained in contention for a top 10 finish since Round 1.

What I Like So Far

You’ve most probably read my prior post on the stakes of higher prize money for this event. The possibility and prospect of bagging $2 million to wrap up the season is a great focal point for plenty of the top 60 LPGA golfers in the field. That’s a key factor in this final round for the CME Group Tour Championship. Throw in that Rolex Player of the Year Award and you’ve got you a battle going on for the final event of the season for the best of the best.

Nelly Korda already showed the strength to go back to back with her title defense at the LPGA Pelican Championship. That served as a storied lead-in to the CME Group Tour Championship.

Lydia Ko is demonstrating steady play. Her 70 shot in the third round isn’t a sign of her losing it. She still remains poised and positioned to play for the title. Brooke Henderson did something amazing by climbing to the top 5 of the field from being 11 strokes behind Ko’s lead in Round 2. The type of play that we’re seeing from Maguire, Henderson, Ko, and even Nordqvist shows what happens when you put the top 60 players in the same field for the same top prize.

What This Does for the Game of Golf

The $2 million purse alone will not end the gender pay gap in professional sports. However, this type of finish for any segment of sports stands out as a new standard in a new era.

This is in the midst of the Astros regaining the World Series with Dusty Baker as its manager in a competition without a single U.S.-born African American player participating. At the same time the FIFA World Cup is cranking up on a global scale as Lionel Messi prepares to walk away from the sport and Ronaldo is doing more Ronaldo type of drama with Manchester United in the background. Not to mention football season has shown us upset upon upset week by week and the NBA has the Lakers looking like losers at the bottom of the Western Conference.

In my opinion, sports fans need truth serum every so often just to bring folks back to reality. Watching the season opener of the Lakers, I was disappointed. The shot selection was horrible. Every single NBA pro isn’t a 3-point shooter. Maybe that memo got missed. I can critique all that I want to and all day long. That doesn’t change the fact that they’re pros and I am nothing but a fan of both the sport and team.

I can Monday quarterback all that I want to in hindsight as I explain why the Raiders are losing the way that they keep losing and break down how it’s not all on Derek Carr until I am out breath and totally drained of ideas. That doesn’t change a single thing. That has me thinking I can do better. Or, better yet, it has fans like me basically saying that what the pros need to do is listen to me.

That’s not going to work.

What the current CME Group Tour Championship is doing sets a tone for pros and fans. We see the top 60 players entering a field that is wide open for a coveted prize. The best performers will rise to the top as their best remains on display before the world.

I’m a fan, not a pro. I am just trying to break 90 consistently. Heck, I’ll settle for the leisure time to be able to truly play consistently. I’ve got nothing of substance to offer Lydia Ko when she shoots a 70 in a round of tournament golf.

And where does that leave us as fans? We’re either watching our TVs or standing on this side of the ropes in admiration of what the players put out there.

At this very moment, the final round of the event is set to get underway. Keep track of the leaderboard online or watch live on NBC at 1 PM EST.