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Lydia Ko's Excellent Summer Vacation
Most teenagers, of course, have busy summers. Going to the beach, to the movies, hanging out with friends, maybe working a few hours at the local hamburger stand.
But Lydia Ko, of course, is not most teenagers. For her summer vacation, she continues to set the world on fire with her unassuming nature, her infectious smile, her oh-so-teenager sense of humor, and her dynamite and beyond-her-years golf game.
Her career so far as an amateur is already stretching the boundaries on what we term "historic." Having recently defended her title at the CN Canadian Women's Open, Ko, the New Zealander by way of South Korea, is accomplishing what few seasoned professionals can do.
And now, here she is preparing for this week's Evian Masters, the fifth major in the women's professional golf world.
So let's hear it from the diminutive and disarming and dynamite Ko.
MODERATOR: It's a pleasure to be joined by 16 year old amateur, Lydia Ko, here in France for the first time for the Evian Championship. Let's start off with just your thoughts on France having traveled here for the first time this week. LYDIA KO: It seems really quiet, like especially out here. I didn't really know what to expect coming here. So obviously Switzerland is just across the water. So it's a really beautiful here.
Q. You've had a little time since your second LPGA victory at the CN Canadian Women's Open. You told me you have been watching a lot of tennis? LYDIA KO: Yeah. I've been watching the U.S. Open and I didn't get to watch the finals, but I saw that Nadal won.
Q. Let's go back to your win in Canada. Your second time winning that event, your fourth professional victory overall. You are only 16. I know you have gotten this question a lot, but what's it like to have that many victories at such a young age? LYDIA KO: I haven't really been counting. People tell me and I say, Oh, really? And it goes on. But it was really special, especially to defend the Canadian's Women's Open title again. Again, this year I didn't really see it coming. The second time I'm surprised and I guess surprise is really good. It's been really good the last two years. I have been pretty happy with how I've been playing.
Q. Have you had time to reflect on the fact that you won by five shots running away? There was no doubt about it.
LYDIA KO: I actually had doubted myself, you know, coming down the last hole we were the only group to play the hole. I was like four shots up, it's a lot. At that moment I was like, 'Oh, my God, am I going to hit it in the water?' Am I going to 3 putt, all of those thoughts that I you shouldn't have been thinking about, but I was. Like even with my putt, I was like 'Please don't 3 putt in front of this many people.' So I kind of got it done in the first putt, so I was really glad that I did.
Q. So you don't didn't get too nervous. What makes you scared in life? LYDIA KO: I think because I don't have much time off the course and off the golfing, you know, arena, I get really scared when like my parents actually go out at night. I watch a lot of CSI and all that, so I'm like what if a car crash happens. It's obviously not the ideal thing to think about again, but those CSI kind of things get me worried sometimes.
Q. Are you familiar with CSI, everyone? It's a murder investigation show. LYDIA KO: My mom tells me not to watch it anymore.
Q. Now we're talking about off time. Besides watching television, what are other things that you like to do when you are not practicing golf? LYDIA KO: I'm away from home and from school, I sometimes need to do some schoolwork, catch up work. And I'm on Facebook quite a lot.
Q. Facebook is a hobby or is it for fun? LYDIA KO: Facebook, I'm not with my friends a lot, so I kind of see what they are doing and I get to learn new things, find some places.
Q. Talk about some of the reaction of some of the other players on the LPGA. I know you have gotten close with Michelle Wie. I saw you earlier with Suzann Pettersen. What are the players saying to you? LYDIA KO: Mostly like because I didn't play Portland and stuff they have been congratulating me for the Canadian Women's Open. I think because everybody is in game mode at the moment, there is not much talk going around. I can see like through Twitter and everything everyone has been congratulating me and saying so many nice things.
Q. Lydia, you are going home after this event, right? How long has it been that you have been on the road? LYDIA KO: I came out just before Toledo and I didn't go back since then, but it's only my fourth tournament being away. There have been some two week gaps. But it has been a long time, like two months, since I have gone back home. New Zealand is so far away, it's quite hard to come back and forth.
Q. What are you most looking forward to?
LYDIA KO: I miss my friends and my dad and my sister. I'm not really looking forward to exams because I don't think that's going to go too well. Fingers crossed. I'll have to study a lot in the next two months.
Q. Can you just share a couple of subjects you are going to be tested in? LYDIA KO: It will be mostly English and photography, along those lines.
Q. You were at the Women's British Open, obviously, and had a very good time there. What other thoughts do you have about being here in Evian and in France and Switzerland? Did you want to visit any other places while you were in the UK? LYDIA KO: I did some tourism stuff after the British Open around that area, but we didn't have much time, you know, seeing things around here. Just being here is really nice and we're actually staying up in the mountains, so we have a really good view there as well. Like I said, it's really nice. It's quite cool to hear the French speaking people because I've never heard of the language before as well.
Q. You talk about your school stuff, how much do you study when you are on the road? LYDIA KO: You know, I just try and find time because obviously golf is the bigger part of my life. I try and find time and then do stuff. When it is tournament week, I'm trying to stay more into golf. In my off time, I reflect on what I've done as well.
Q. You are now sort of specializing in your English and photography. What kind of photography are you doing? Are you taking pictures of landscapes or what? LYDIA KO: Our project at the moment is we're making a story. So I took some photos near St. Andrews at the cathedral. So I'm actually doing treasures of each country, the beauties. That's what I'm doing. Every other student will have their own topic.
Q. Are you picturing the mountains this week?
LYDIA KO: I haven't really got time to take any but hopefully maybe if I finish early one day I will be able to go around and take some photos. The ice on the mountains as well is pretty beautiful.
Q. There was a discussion on the European Tour last week, I think it was, about young players who play with professional golfers who are adults. You had your first win when you were 14, I think. There are some people who say, well, it shouldn't be that young players like you play with a professional adults because it puts too much pressure on them. It may influence the career badly. What do you think about it? Is it a lot of pressure for you to be here and to play against all the very experienced people? LYDIA KO: You know, I had a lot of pressure like two years ago, three years ago. You know, it's I was like 14 and obviously playing at a professional tournament. They have proven things and they are great players. One of the big thoughts was I don't want to play bad and slow the whole group down and get them off their rhythm. I think the more I played, the more I learned to kind of go with it. I've been learning so many things playing with different players from Julie Inkster and Suzann. It's been a really great learning experience.
Q. What are your latest thoughts on whether and when to turn pro? LYDIA KO: Yeah, like we're thinking about it. But as a joke, like because everybody is asking me when are you turning pro. You should turn pro. I think I better do that soon or that question is going to go on for a while. Never know what's going to happen.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.