Ko, who has been battling swelling in her left wrist this summer, tees it up this week in her final chance to become the youngest major championship winner in the history of men’s or women’s golf. She will be 17 years, 4 months and 22 days old on Sunday. Young Tom Morris was 17 years, 5 months and 8 days old when he won the British Open in 1868. Ko can also become the youngest No. 1 in the history of men's or women's golf with a first- or second-place finish this week.
Ko, No. 3 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, had cysts in her left wrist drained of fluid buildup that causes the swelling. She had the procedure done two weeks ago. It’s a malady that may require surgery to remedy, possibly at year’s end, as she reports she is planning to play four consecutive weeks on the upcoming Asian swing.
“My wrist definitely feels a lot better,” Ko told reporters in France Wednesday in her pre-championship news conference. “It felt pretty good to play, and I haven't been worrying about it, which is really good, because the game itself is pretty tough. There are other things I need to worry about. My wrist is feeling good, and I think I'm feeling good. So, hopefully, I'm prepared for what's coming the next couple of days.”
And over the final two months of the season.
“I'm planning on playing four weeks in a row for the Asian swing,” Ko said. “It'll be my first [time playing four weeks in a row], and I'll have to, I guess, manage my energy along those weeks, because some of the places can be quite windy or hot.”
Ko finished second to Suzann Pettersen at last year's Evian Championship. It was her last start as an amateur.
If Ko wins this week, she will become the youngest No. 1 in the history of men’s or women’s professional golf. She can also move to No. 1 with a second-place finish, depending on what No. 1 Stacy Lewis and No. 2 Inbee Park do.