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Kiwi Lydia Ko challenges No. 1 Park In-bee
DECEMBER 12, 2013 05:35  
Park In-bee, a Korean golf star, 25, closely saw Lydia Ko of New Zealand, 16, emerge to the top only in two tournaments since her professional debut. Park competed against Ko and Ryu So-yeon, 23, in the final third round of Taiwan뭩 Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters of KLPGA on Sunday. It was the first time for Park to play in the same team with Ko.

When Park returned to Korea on Monday, she said, 밪he (Lydia Ko) was not nervous at all. I couldn뭪 believe her age. She was young but seemed experienced. Park added, 밫here are many teenagers who play a ball in the way they learned. Lydia Ko is mature enough to compete against pro-golfers beyond teenage golfers.

Park shot a two-under par on the last day of the tournament to finish in third place with four strokes behind Ko. Ko started in second place in the final round with one stroke behind Ryu and even three strokes behind at some point. She caught up with Ryu in the latter of the tournament. Park said, 밪he (Ko) could have been nervous but she had a poker face. I was surprised. She was excellent in mid-distance putting. Park said she had little advice to give to Ko and Ko seemed very self-disciplined. Ko starts using a six iron first and carries three hybrids. Park said, 밒 put a five iron first in the bag because I뭢 confident in using irons. Lydia was excellent in setting up a ball with a hybrid.

Park said, 밯hen you become a pro-golfer, you feel pressured about your score. If you have too many thoughts in your mind, you cannot show good performance. Rather than thinking that you뭨e a pro, you should feel free like an amateur. It is important to withstand external pressure.

The emergence of a rival challenged Park. She said, 밢lder golfers can be challenged by many young excellent golfers in LPGA. That뭩 why I should try harder.

Park ranked top for 35 straight weeks in women뭩 world ranking released on that day. Lydia Ko jumped two from last week to rank fourth. Both Park and Ko who will compete in next year뭩 LPGA tournaments aim at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Can Korea뭩 Park and New Zealand뭩 Ko compete for a gold medal? Just imagining it makes many golf fans feel excited.

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