It is not our place to openly root for certain players, and so we don’t do that.
But look, we’re also human.
So when we got the opportunity to interview phenom Lydia Ko this week after she finished three days of preparation for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open on Pinehurst No. 2, we couldn’t help but become enamored with the poised and infectious 17-year-old who seems on the precipice of taking over women’s golf - and perhaps even more.
As we look back on our interview, two moments stood out for us:
1. “This…This…whatever this is.”
How great is Ko’s laugh? Even better, how great is her ability to laugh at herself and not feel embarrassed over not knowing what to call the wire grass? (For the record, Hunter Mahan didn’t know what to call it, either.) If you’re not immediately a fan of Ko after these 15 seconds, you may never be.
2.”Hopefully I’ll get some autographs.”
She’s been named as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential, has won three times on the LPGA Tour already and until last week, had ascended to the No. 2 ranking in the world.
But she is still 17, and in the clip above, she’s sure enough of herself to show it. She’s looking for autographs, just like any other kid. (Her access, though, will be much, MUCH better than most autograph hounds.)
What’s great to see and hear is how Ko can navigate from elite major championship contender to a regular teenager in the matter of a single sentence or thought.
For example, a few seconds before this clip, she spoke about the back-to-back U.S. Opens at Pinehurst, and the chance she’ll get to watch the men play first and scout a little. “I’ll be able to see, ‘Oh, maybe I shouldn’t end up there or I should go there.” Veteran savvy, there.
But a few seconds before that, she tells us, “I’ve actually never watched a men’s (pro) tour event before…and actually be on the other side of the ropes.”
Honest, forthcoming, sincere, confident and yet humble.
Novel idea, right?