PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Lydia Ko was ceremoniously adorned as the new Rolex world No. 1 before teeing it up Thursday at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.
Well, actually, her caddie was the one who was adorned.
With fans bunched around the 10th tee at the Ocean Club Golf Course, LPGA commissioner Mike Whan pulled the Rolex No. 1 caddie bib that is reserved each week for the world’s top player from a black case. He then laid it over the head of Jason Hamilton, Ko’s caddie, before Ko started the first round. While it’s the first week Ko carries the No. 1 ranking, it isn’t the first time Hamilton has worn the bib. He wore it a lot as Yani Tseng’s caddie when she was No. 1.
“He is used to it more than me,” Ko said.
Whan had fun recognizing the youngest No. 1 in the history of professional golf. She is 17.
“That was really cool,” Ko said. “It was great that the commish could present it to Jason. A very special moment.”
Ko was among 60 players who were still on the course in the afternoon wave when rain suspended play for the day. Ko was 1 under through eight holes when the round was halted. Players are scheduled to be back on the course at 8 a.m. Friday to complete the suspended first round.
Ditching her eyeglasses for contacts in the offseason, she said, proved fortuitous.
“I didn’t have to wipe anything,” Ko cracked.