Sunday, 16 February 2014

Asian Golfers In The Ascendant

Golfer Lydia Ko in action.
Source:  LPGA
One of the passions of Singapore, besides food, is golf.  That is, if one can afford the cost of playing the game which George Bernard Shaw once snidely described as "typical capitalist lunacy".

The cost of playing golf in Singapore as in other parts of Asia is very expensive and a club membership is coveted and sometime traded.  Despite this prohibition golf has become an all consuming relaxation and competitive sport for many.

Which leads me on to the admission that in recent months I have become rather an avid followers of the Women's LPGA.  Now while some of you may assume, quite erroneously, that it it the sight of lithe young women that proves the attraction, it is in fact the success of the Asian women golfers that has attracted my attention.

In particular the remarkable achievements on the New Zealander of Asian descent, the sixteen year old, Lydia Ko.  In the LPGA ranks the Koreans and Taiwanese perform extremely well and young Lydia at the tender age often outshines her older compatriots.

This has been recognised two days ago in New Zealand when she was named New Zealand's Sportsperson of the Year, the youngest ever to achieve this honour.

Her elevation to the professional ranks and her previous prowess as an amateur playing against professional has been nothing short of remarkable.

What many of us really appreciate is not only is this teenager a sporting prodigy she is also unassuming, well-mannered and a good sportswomen overall.  Sportsmanship is more than just performing on the course, and she has it all.

As I write Lydia Ko is sitting two shots behind the joint leaders of the Australian Womens' Open, with the final day at hand.  We shall have to wait and see what transpires but she will surely maintain her world number four ranking after another great performance in this, her first year as a  professional.

After Australia the tour heads to Thailand where the playing conditions will no doubt be just as hot as Melbourne, but with humidity to match.  One hopes that there will be no thunderstorms during the tournament which often temporarily curtail play on Asia's links.

Being struck by lightning while playing a shot with a five iron is not something one would want to contemplate!

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