Tuesday, October 25, 2016

World's top two golfers ready for an epic battle at LPGA Malaysia

Lydia Ko will try to regain the top spot on the Money List by winning
the Sime Darby  LPGA Malaysia this week. - Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: Don’t be surprised if this year’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia turns out to be a titanic battle between the world’s top two golfers – Lydia Ko and Ariya Jutanugarn.

Although 18-year-old New Zealander Lydia is the world No. 1, she has fallen behind world No. 2 Ariya of Thailand on two fronts.
Lydia skipped two Asian Swing events in China – the Reignwood LPGA Classic early this month and Blue Bay LPGA last week – and has been overtaken at the top of the Race to CME Globe point standings and the US LPGA Tour Money List by Ariya.
Thanks to her third spot on Sunday, the 20-year-old Ariya has moved ahead of Lydia in the money list with a season’s earning of US$2,439,878 (RM10.13mil).
Lydia has racked up $2,424,950 (RM10.06mil).
Ariya also dethroned Lydia in the Race to CME Globe to lead the standings with 4,416 points – 116 ahead of the Kiwi. The Race to CME Globe rewards the highest-ranked golfer at the end of the season with a US$1mil (RM4.2mil) jackpot.
No wonder Lydia is relishing taking on Ariya in the remaining four tournaments of the season – beginning with this week’s Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, which tees off at the TPC Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
“Ariya has been playing great golf throughout the year. When she won for the first time in Alabama (Yokohama Tire Classic in May), we kind of knew it was coming,” Lydia said at the pre-tournament press conference.
“She’s playing so consistently well. Even last week, putting herself in contention. She’s just overall a very strong, confident player.
“So, I know that I’ve got a lot of work to do in these last few events.
“Now I’m the one trying to catch up. I want to finish strongly.
“It’s not just me, there are others involved. Even if I play good and someone plays better, I can’t do much about it.
“It’s more important for me to finish the season strongly rather than think about the rewards that come at the end of the season,” added Lydia, who is the reigning Player of the Year and who won the US$1mil jackpot last year.
Ariya, meanwhile, has refused to be carried away by the prospects of winning her first Player of the Year title.
“It’s good for me to have a chance, but I’m not really worried about it,” Ariya insisted.
“Of course I want to win something because that’s really an honour for me, but I just want to have fun and be happy on the course. That’s what I need to do.”

-thestar online.

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