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lydia ko lotte championship

The Slam: Lydia Ko is back and we couldn’t love it more!

A rules debacle, a return of an LPGA phenom, and Martin Kaymer has a dream. NCG wraps up the week’s talking points

 

The week after a major is always a tough sell. Thankfully the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, and European Tour all kept us talking in one way or another. Enough small talk, let’s dive in…

Lydia Ko: Lotte Championship win was great!

Two weeks ago Lydia Ko made the final day of the ANA Inspiration interesting with a major record-equalling 62 and now she’s back in the winners’ circle after three years away. (Or 1,084 days if you prefer golf’s odd obsession with measuring time in that way.)

Ko carded a single bogey all week at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii en route to a seven-stroke win over Inbee Park, Sei Young Kim, Leona Maguire and Nelly Korda who all finished a distant second on 21-under-par.

It’s Ko’s 16th LPGA Tour title – whose stats over her last five competitive rounds are off the charts good.

But Keith from Rotherham doesn’t watch women’s golf because he reckons he could beat them.

It blows my mind that she’s still only 23.

Here’s four minutes of pure gold from the player arguably the best on the planet right now…

lydia ko lotte championship

Martin Kaymer comeback

Speaking of people we haven’t heard from in a while, Martin Kaymer made a spirited attempt at getting back in the winners’ circle himself at the Austrian Open.

Can you believe he hasn’t lifted a trophy since that eight-shot victory at the US Open seven years (or 2,499 days) ago?

It didn’t quite work out. Playing in the final group with compatriot Max Kieffer, the 11-time European Tour champion found himself three-over through three and, though he rallied to get back into the event, he finished three back of Kieffer and eventual champion John Catlin, who needed a play-off to secure his third win in just 13 starts.

Kaymer has firmly set his sights on a return to golf’s top table – and one competition in particular.

“I still haven’t given up on the Ryder Cup,” the 36-year-old said at the start of the week. “It was a real pain not to be part of the team in France.”

Kaymer’s performance in Austria moves him up 12 places to 35th in the European Points List, from which the top four will qualify for Whistling Straits.

Whatever happens, Martin, we’ll always have Medinah.

‘What happened there then?’ of the Week

When you start as the favourite to win a European Tour event despite having never won a European Tour event, the pressure can get to you a bit.

And it certainly proved to be an entertaining week for Thomas Detry…

Unsurprisingly, a final-round 82 that including a 10 on the par-3 14th and an eight on the par-3 finisher did not go unnoticed. Enter Eddie Pepperrell…

Detry’s response? “Get your glass of red ready, this might take a while.”

Dropped shot

Don’t you just love a good rules debacle in a tour event? This week it was a Si Woo Kim putt that had us all scratching our heads at the RBC Heritage…

Kim was informed that a stroke would be added as it had taken longer than the allowed time to drop, but that wasn’t the end of it.

Kim’s playing partner, Matt Kuchar, attempted to explain to official Stephen Cox that the ball never actually stopped moving – for more than a minute, remember – and Cox puts him in his place.

Keep your eyes peeled on our Rules of Golf section - because Steve has plenty more to go with this one.

Another PGA Tour win for Stewart Cink...

Stewart Cink hadn't won between that infamous triumph at the Open in 2009 and the Safeway Open in September.

Now he has his first multi-win season since 2004.

Cink opened his week at the RBC Heritage with a pair of 63s (!) and clung on (!) for a four-shot win over Harold Varner and Emiliano Grillo.

Only Cink and Bryson DeChambeau have won more than once on the PGA Tour this season. Impressive stuff from the 47-year-old.

That's enough for another week. See you next time.

Did you see the Lydia Ko Lotte Championship win coming? How much did you enjoy the Lydia Ko Lotte Championship win? Tell us on X!

Barry Plummer

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