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.”

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Watch: Strong start, rough finish for Koepka

By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 4:45 pm

U.S. Open hangover? Not for Brooks Koepka. The two-time national champion has carried over his form and confidence from Shinnecock Hills to TPC River Highlands.

Koepka began his round with a par at the par-4 10th and then reeled off four consecutive birdies, beginning at No. 11.

And here is the capper at the 14th

Koepka turned in 4-under 31. Here's more action from his opening nine holes.

After a par at the first, Koepka added a fifth birdie of the day at the par-4 second.

A bogey at the par-4 fourth dropped him to 4 under, but just one off the lead. That, however, sparked a wild ride to the finish line as he also bogeyed Nos. 5, 7 and 9, and birdied the sixth. It totaled to a second-nine, 2-over 37 and an overall score of 2-under 68.

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Lyle going through 'scary' period in cancer recovery

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:58 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia – Jarrod Lyle's wife says the Australian golfer is struggling through a ''really scary'' period in his third battle with cancer.

Lyle, 36, underwent a bone marrow transplant last December following a recurrence of acute myeloid leukemia.

''It's been 190 days since Jarrod's stem-cell transplant and we are going through a really rough patch at the moment,'' Briony Lyle wrote on jarrodlylegolf.com. ''I'm typing this blog on his behalf because he's not able to do it. Jarrod's not able to drive, struggles to prepare any food for himself, can't read stories to the girls and is not able to offer much help at all around the house.

''He is also starting to look like a very frail, sick person.''

Briony Lyle added: ''We are both very aware of the amount of drugs and medication that has gone into Jarrod's body over the years but things are starting to get really scary at the moment. It looks as if this recovery is going to be the longest and hardest one so far.''

Lyle has twice beaten acute myeloid leukemia, in 1998 and 2012, and was able to return to play professional golf.

He made an emotional comeback to the golf course during the 2013 Australian Masters in Melbourne before using a medical exemption to play on the PGA Tour in 2015. He played four seasons on Tour, where he earned $1.875 million in 121 tournaments.

Lyle has since returned to Australia permanently to be with Briony and daughters Lusi and Jemma.

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Vermeer wins PGA Professional; 20 make PGA Championship

By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 12:42 pm

SEASIDE, Calif. – Ryan Vermeer won the PGA Professional Championship on Wednesday, overcoming front-nine problems to top the 20 qualifiers for the PGA Championship.

The 40-year-old Vermeer, the director of instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Nebraska, closed with a 1-over 73 on the Bayonet Course for a two-stroke victory over Sean McCarty and Bob Sowards.

The PGA Championship is in August at Bellerive in St. Louis.

Three strokes ahead entering the day, Vermeer played the front in 4 over with a double bogey on the par-4 second and bogeys on the par-4 seventh and par-4 eighth. He rebounded with birdies on the par-5 10th and par-4 11th and also birdied the par-5 18th.

Full-field scores from the PGA Professional Championship

Vermeer finished at 5-under 283. The former University of Kansas player earned $55,000. He won the 2017 Mizuno Pro/Assistant Championship and finished ninth last year in the PGA Professional to qualify for PGA at Quail Hollow.

McCarty had a 68, and Sowards shot 69. Sowards won the 2004 title.

David Muttitt and Jason Schmuhl tied for fourth at 1 under, and 2012 and 2015 champion Matt Dobyns, Jaysen Hansen, and Johan Kok followed at even par.

Marty Jertson, Brian Smock and Ben Kern were 1 over, and Zach Johnson, Craig Hocknull, Matt Borchert and 2016 winner Rich Berberian Jr. were 2 over. Nine players tied at 3 over, with Shawn Warren, 2017 champion Omar Uresti, 2014 winner Michael Block, Craig Bowden and Danny Balin getting the last five spots at Bellerive in a playoff. Balin got the final spot, beating Brian Norman with a par on the seventh extra hole after Norman lost a ball in a tree.

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Berger more than ready to rebound at Travelers

By Will GrayJune 20, 2018, 9:54 pm

CROMWELL, Conn. – Daniel Berger hopes that this year he gets to be on the other end of a viral moment at the Travelers Championship.

Berger was a hard-luck runner-up last year at TPC River Highlands, a spectator as Jordan Spieth holed a bunker shot to defeat him in a playoff. It was the second straight year that the 25-year-old came up just short outside Hartford, as he carried a three-shot lead into the 2016 event before fading to a tie for fifth.

While he wasn’t lacking any motivation after last year’s close call, Berger got another dose last week at the U.S. Open when he joined Tony Finau as a surprise participant in the final group Sunday, only to shoot a 73 and drift to a T-6 finish.

Travelers Championship: Articles, photos and videos

“It was one of the best experiences of my professional golf career so far. I feel like I’m going to be in such a better place next time I’m in that position, having felt those emotions and kind of gone through it,” Berger said. “There was a lot of reflection after that because I felt like I played good enough to get it done Sunday. I didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hit a lot of really good putts. And that’s really all you can do.”

Berger missed the cut earlier this month to end his quest for three straight titles in Memphis, but his otherwise consistent season has now included six top-20 finishes since January. After working his way into contention last week and still with a score to settle at TPC River Highlands, he’s eager to get back to work against another star-studded field.

“I think all these experiences you just learn from,” Berger said. “I think last week, having learned from that, I think that’s even going to make me a little better this week. So I’m excited to get going.”