Lydia Ko winning LPGA Mediheal Championship

An Aucklander is smiling all the way to the bank after Lydia Ko held on to win the LPGA Mediheal Championship. The punter was rewarded to the tune $260,000 for the show of faith after they placed a bet on the New Zealander, who was not exactly on a winning streak. The tournament was held in San Francisco, attracting some big names in the golfing industry, with a lot of people waiting on Ko to win in a major tournament.

Ko scored an eagle 3 on the par five 18th, and this was enough to ensure a playoff finish at the very first extra hole. This signaled a return to happy times of the golfer as well as a nice pay dirt for a TAB customer, who had put up $10,000 hoping that Ko would stroll through the tournament at $26.

Commenting on the news, Kate Gourdie, media manager at TAB, freely admitted that this is the biggest win from a bet placed on a Lydia Ko victory, and generally the biggest wins on golf. The name of the punter has not been disclosed, but the bet was placed on the 26th of April. This date is important because the tournament had not started yet. It shows that whoever placed the bet
had monumental faith in Ko going all through, which was not exactly a realistic expectation considering the fact that she wasn’t a favorite.

 

Back to happy times for Ko the Kiwi

Before this victory, the much-maligned Ko had suffered a long stretch in the fringes of the sport, not winning a PG tourney in a spell that stretched back to July 2016. This had seen her tumble down the rankings, all the way from number 1 in the world back then to her current 18th spot. This victory is a good piece of news, as there is an expectation that she will now jump to 10th in the world after netting 500 points from the tourney. Over the last two years, she tinkered with her coaches, caddies and equipment to try and turn things around, and it does now look like  something might just be giving. Along with the victory trophy came some US$225,000 (NZ$318,000) pocket change.

 

An eye on the future

There are other LPGA tournaments coming up, and there is a chance that Ko will attend most of them. Buick LPGA Shanghai starts om October 18th. Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan will follow soon after. My own feeling is that she has anything between 20%(4/1) and 25%(3/1) chance of nicking the trophy in any one of those two major tournaments.

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Lydia Ko back to winning ways, gambler collects huge paycheck