How a quote from this PGA Tour star helped Lydia Ko nab her latest LPGA win

Lydia Ko won her 17th LPGA Tour title last weekend, and she did so with a quote from Jon Rahm on her mind.

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It’s a great time to be Lydia Ko.

The world No. 3 nabbed yet another victory last weekend — the 17th win of her LPGA career — and she did so by out dueling a red-hot Danielle Kang. In addition to the clout, her dub at the Gainbridge LPGA added another $300,000 to her bank account and brings her career earnings to over $12.5 million, good for ninth on the LPGA’s all-time list.

Not too shabby for a 24-year-old.

“We’re very fortunate about the money we get to play for week in, week out,” Ko said.

But money is far from the main motivating factor for Ko when she gets in a zone on the course. The only thing on her mind when things get rolling? Make more birdies.

“I’m trying to make as many birdies as I can and shoot the lowest score I can, and money is a kind of a bonus,” she said. “You look and see an amount next to your name and you’re like, ‘Oh, that was a good week for that.'”

The birdies came in bunches in Boca Raton. Ko carded nine of them in her opening-round 63 at Boca Rio Golf Club, and she continued to pour them in as the week continued. Even as the temperatures dropped in Florida, Ko was able to keep her foot on the gas, finishing with a three-under 69 to nip Kang by a shot.

And while her work with swing coach Sean Foley plays a large role in her regaining her form over the last 18 months, it was a quote from world No. 1 Jon Rahm that fueled her win last week.

The quote that helped

“He said, ‘It’s not about how many times you hit the fairway, golf, at the end, you have to try and play like the best score you can in the circumstances,'” Ko said. “I think his quote really helped me to realize that, you know what? It’s golf. Sometimes I’m going to hit great shots; sometimes I’m going to hit not-so-pretty ones. I have to manage my way around and try and shoot the best score I can.”

A large part of Ko and Foley’s work together has been predicated on the mental components of golf. And the quote from Rahm helped her in that facet. Golf is not a game of perfect.

“Sometimes I try and become too much of a perfectionist,” she said. “And to kind of hear that I was like, ‘Yeah, you’re right. I’m just trying to play golf and not control everything out there.'”

That proved to be a winning formula last week, and if she can continue to harness that mentality, more victories are sure to follow.

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Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.