Lydia Goh “First and last race of the season…I want to cut out everything in between”

“We won the first and last tournament of the season. I want to cut out everything in between.”

Lydia Ko (NZL) capped off a disappointing 2023 season by winning the mixed team event with Jason Day (AUS).

Former world No. 1s Lydia Ko and Jason Day combined for six birdies and no bogeys for a final-round 26-under-par 190 to win the Grand Thornton Invitational ($4 million purse) on the U.S. Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour and U.S. Women’s Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour at Tiburon GC (Par 72) in Naples, Florida, USA, by one stroke over Brooke Henderson-Cory Connors (25-under-par 191 – Canada). The pair split the $1 million first-place prize.

Goh-Day, who held a two-stroke lead after two rounds of the mixed-team event revived by the LPGA Tour and PGA Tour after a 24-year hiatus, battled back with birdies on the 14th and 17th holes (both par-5s) before being overtaken by Henderson-Connors in the final round, which was played as a modified foursome, with both players teeing off individually and then switching balls to record the best score as a team. On the 17th, where she was tied for the lead, Ko hit a stunning second shot into the wind with a 3-wood that landed 1.5 meters behind the hole.

“It wasn’t my best year, and I think it’s the best way to end it,” Ko said in her victory interview. After a three-win season in 2022, the reigning Player of the Year and World No. 1 continued her momentum by winning the Ladies European Tour (LET) Saudi Ladies International (February), her first event of the year since getting married.

However, Ko had an extremely difficult year on the LPGA Tour, failing to win a single event and recording just two top-10 finishes. A combination of nagging injuries and poor shots led to five missed cuts and a drop to 100 in the season rankings, which saw last year’s winner miss the final CME Group Tour Championship of the year. Her current world ranking has dropped to No. 11. Yoo bounced back with a third-place finish at the BMW Ladies Championship (Paju) in October.

“My ball striking hasn’t been great the last few months, but I know that all those moments have made me who I am today. It’s been a year where I’ve learned a lot,” said Ko, who humbly accepted the result and will now embark on a new challenge with the goal of being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2024. With 19 career victories (two majors), player of the year honors (2015, 2022) and lowest-hitting awards (2021, 2022), Ko is 25 points away from induction into the Hall of Fame (one major or two tournaments).


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