Can Lydia Ko become number one in Canada

BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic | Preview | 05 Jun 2014

The LPGA has one last event before the US Women’s Open and most players will take advantage of the chance to hone their games ahead of what will be an historic US Open.

This week’s Manulife Financial LPGA Classic at the Grey Silo Golf Club in Ontario in Canada takes the LPGA Tour to Canada for the first of two occasions in 2014, the other being the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open also in Ontario in August.

With next week off ahead of the US Women’s Open, this will be the last chance for tournament play for those who have made it to Pinehurst and the chance to tweak their game’s under tournament pressure.

Most of the game’s leading players are in the field, the notable exception being Karrie Webb who is clearly taking a two week break to ready herself for a tilt at her eighth major championship. Given her form in 2014 she is not without a hope.

The newly re-crowned world number one Stacy Lewis is in the field however as are the world number two and three Inbee Park and Lydia Ko.

Stacy Lewis’ hold on the number one title could possibly end just a few days after her taking it as if Lydia Ko was to win this week and Lewis was to finish outside the top seven then Ko would become the world number one at the age of 17.

Both scenarios are only possibilities admittedly as Lewis rarely finishes outside the top five these days but it is possible and what is worth bearing in mind is that two of Ko’s three USLPGA Tour victories have come in Canada.

Lewis has played well in this event in the past but has been surprised as to the reaction to her elevation to the number one position. “It’s very overwhelming,” she said on Tuesday. "I still haven’t gone through everything in my phone yet. I had an outing on Monday, just all the travel and all that, I haven’t really had time to settle down.

“I’ve been trying to practice yet still get some sleep, so that I’ve been trying to practice yet still get some sleep, so that all might have to wait until next week.

I’ve come here the last few years and played really well. I think, you know, it’s a golf course you’ve got to make a ton of birdies on. And I led the Tour in birdies last year and I think I lead that stat again this year, so I think that it fits my game.

“You’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to attack, you’ve got to make as many birdies as you can. This golf course, length is always an advantage. The par 5s are reachable, and I think this year it will be even more of an advantage with the course playing a little bit softer. You know, I would love to get another win, but at the same time I’ve got to keep putting myself there on Sunday and hopefully the cards fall your way.”

Michelle Wie is another who appears a genuine chance now that she is putting herself in a position to win on a more regular basis.

Australians in the field are Sarah Jane Smith, Sarah Kemp, Lindsey Wright, Stacey Keating and Julia Boland.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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