Lydia Ko will have one shot at getting the complete set of Olympic medals revealing Paris next year will likely be her last Olympics.It’s a year out to the Paris 2024 Olympics where Le Golf National course will host the men’s and women’s golf tournaments. The Kiwi world number three won a silver medal when golf made its return at the Rio Olympics in 2016, five shots behind gold medallist Inbee Park, and then backed that up with a bronze in Tokyo four years later. She is looking to become the first golfer to win a medal at three Olympics.
“Paris Olympics is probably one of my biggest goals in the next couple of years. Paris is probably going to be my last Olympics,” she told Olympics.com recently. “Obviously, it’d be another year on top of this year and then another four on top of that, and I don’t know whether I’d like to be competing by the time it comes to LA,” Ko added. “It’s (Paris) definitely the biggest thing that’s lingering in my mind… It’d be pretty surreal to say that you’ve medalled at all three of the Olympics since its return in over 100 years… it’d be really cool to say I have the trio of all three colours.”
The 26-year-old has previously said she would plan to retire by the age of 30 but reiterated last season the decision will be based around her enjoyment, or lack of, of the game. “I don’t wanna tire myself out. When I feel like it is the time for me to retire, I will only know at that time. But, I don’t want to leave the game in regret of I should have stopped then rather than try and let keep going and going and lose passion for golf and I do it because I love it”. Ko is in France this week as she tees off at the Evian Championship, the fourth major of the LPGA season.
She has a remarkable run of at least one top 10 finish at a major every year since 2013. But it’s under threat after missing the cut at the Chevron Championship while being off the pace at the PGA Championship (tied-57th) and the US Open (tied-33rd). Ko has just one top 30 finish on the LPGA this year with a scoring average of 71.58 ranked 65th on the tour, more than two shots higher than last season (68.99) when she claimed player of the year honours. If she’s to turn her form around then Évian-les-Bains is a likely place to do it.
She claimed her first major title in 2015 at the course to join Sir Bob Charles and Michael Campbell as Kiwi major winners. Ko finished second at her first Evian Championship as a 16-year-old amateur and has seven top 10 finishes at the event, including a third place finish last year, two shots behind winner Brooke Henderson. A victory at the Evian Championship, a third major title, would secure Ko a spot in the LPGA Hall of Fame. She sits on 25 points, two shy of the 27 needed to be eligible for the Hall of Fame, with two points on offer for a major win Ko would become the youngest player to reach the milestone.