LPGA Tour superstar Lydia Ko was in the news last week for what she now describes as ‘not one of my smartest moments’.The reason she hit the headlines was because the golfer was penalized seven strokes during the Dana Open because of a preferred lies mix-up.
Ko, the World No. 3, was playing the final round of the LPGA Tour event when she called over a rules official shortly after picking up her ball on the 11th fairway. Tournament officials had agreed for players to lift, clean and place during the third round on Saturday owing to storms that had earlier battered the course.
Lift, clean and place was allowed once again during the final round but only for certain holes. Ko followed the Saturday provision.
The LPGA Tour later clarified:
“For the final round of the 2023 Dana Open, preferred lies were in effect on Nos. 1 and 10 only. On Lydia Ko’s 11th hole, a rules official was notified that Ko had preferred her lies on Nos. 3, 7 and 9. On holes 3, 7 and 9, she did not replace the ball back on the original spot. Therefore, Ko played from a wrong place on each of these holes, which is in breach of Rule 14.7a. Her scorecard was adjusted to reflect those two-stroke penalties. In total, three two-stroke penalties were applied.”
Now Ko has taken to Instagram to clarify what exactly happened.
She has owned the mistake, and also revealed her usual caddie wasn’t on the bag. One of her team, not a caddie, filled in last minute.
“On the bright side, if I hit more fairways I might have broken the world record in stroke penalties received over 11 holes”.
See her full explanation: