KAWAGOE, Japan – Lydia Ko became the first golfer to win multiple individual Olympic medals on Saturday, but her accomplishment went well beyond her play at Kasumigaseki Country Club.
The New Zealander, who finished with a final-round 65 and lost a playoff to Japan’s Mone Inami to earn the bronze medal, told Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis that her grandmother died last week.
“I was playing for her,” an emotional Ko said. “I just wanted to make our family really proud and our country proud and to be able to win a medal for them means so much to everyone who has been on this journey with me. This has been for my grandmother.”
Ko won the silver medal at the 2016 Games in Rio and said the two finishes felt strangely similar despite the technically different outcomes.
“I don't think it feels like that different,” Ko said. “I wish I could have brought [home] a different color medal, but overall, just to bring the medal for New Zealand I hope everyone back home is proud.”