KUALA LUMPUR: With two LPGA titles and a world No. 3 ranking to her name, it’s easy to forget that rookie Lydia Ko is still just a regular teenager.
And like many teenagers her age, the Korean-born Kiwi confesses to missing her friends back home in New Zealand and counts watching TV or just chilling out in her room as her favourite things to do in her down time on Tour.
“I like watching the cooking channel, it helps me get my mind off golf. But I don’t cook ... if I did there would be a lot of mess in the kitchen,” said the 17-year-old with a grin.
“Most people don’t know this, but I’m actually a picky eater. But I love food and I do like to eat. I think I’m probably one of the players who eats a lot on the course.
“I love Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Italian. I can also tolerate spicy food but not something that will blow my mind.”
Being on Tour this year has been a great experience for the youngster, who won her first title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in April and then the Marathon Classic in July.
“The most memorable moment so far for me has to be getting my first win on Tour. That was very special, especially having both my parents out there with me,” said Lydia.
She also finished joint second in the JTBC Founders Cup (March) and Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (June); third at the Wegmans LPGA Championship (August); and joint third at the ISP Handa Women’s Australian Open (February).
Lydia had another great round on Friday – on day two of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia – when she fired seven birdies, including three on the trot from the 10th, to finish with a seven-under 64.
That allowed her to move up to share second spot with Japan’s Ayako Uehara, England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and South Korea’s Ji Eun-hee on nine-under 133 – just two shots behind leader Ryu So-yeon of South Korea.
“I’m really enjoying my time on the Tour and mingling with the girls. I would say I’m closest to Danielle Kang, of the US. We try to go out and have dinners and attend the pro-am parties together. So, I feel kind of fortunate to have a big sister like her around,” said Lydia, who hopes to represent New Zealand at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.