Ko might retire at 30; possible career in psychology

By Randall MellFebruary 18, 2015, 1:21 pm

Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko can’t see herself in professional golf for the long run.

She can imagine retirement coming as early as age 30.

“I think you never know what’s going to happen,” Ko said in her pre-tournament news conference Wednesday at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. “I always say my plan is to retire when I’m 30. So, I’m not going to just go to the beach and hang out for the rest of my life after that. There’s always a second career that comes along, and I’m trying to build up towards it.”

Ko enrolled at Korea University this year, where she plans to study psychology. She will begin taking classes in March, with a curriculum designed to allow her to do most of her work online. Her agent, Michael Yim, says she’s so interested in psychology she’s already talking about pursuing a doctorate.

“We’re going to try to do a lot of online work, and I have some big textbooks that I need to read, too,” Ko said. “We’ll always find a way to try to do it.

“Psychology itself is something I’ve always been interested in, and there are hundreds of topics in psychology, but it’s something I could connect with in golf, and in sports, so that’s what kind of took my attention. It’s going to be tough to juggle both things at the same time.”

Ko became the youngest No. 1 in the history of professional golf when she ascended to the top of the Rolex Women’s World Rankings three weeks ago.

Though Ko, who turns 18 in April, may be a quick study, she confirmed she still doesn’t have her driver’s license.

“I need to go to a driving school and do it, but I’ll probably do it in the states, because that’s where I’m based and probably easier there,” she said.

Ko likes to crack on her driving skills off the golf course.

“I’ll warn you guys if I’m on the road,” she said.

While Ko says she is looking to contend more consistently in majors as she seeks to win her first, her goals are broader.

“I think just having fun is probably my biggest goal,'” she said. “When you have fun, everything kind of goes by fast, and going fast is not a bad thing when you're playing 25 or 26 tournaments. To me, my top goal in every season is to have fun and enjoy it, because I've had points where I've stressed out and my self-expectation has gotten on top. So I try to block it all out.

“When I'm having fun, that's when I play the best so it all matches up.”

Ko, who has already won eight professional titles around the world, will return to New Zealand next week to play the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open. She won the event two years ago.

Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, who turned 40 in December, is the defending champ this week. She marvels at what Ko is doing at such a young age.

“She’s such a level-headed girl,” Webb said. “I don’t even think it really hits her what she’s doing. I think she’s grown up with golf, and it’s just supposed to go in the hole, and it does, and she does it very well and very consistently.

“I keep saying that we’re never going to see another young player this ready at this age, and then Lydia Ko comes along and sets the bar even higher for young players. At any age, it’s an outstanding achievement, to be No. 1 in the world, but to do it at 17 is incredible.”

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.