World no.3 Lydia Ko has been playing professional golf for more than a decade now. But sometimes years of experience in your field fails to serve you in crucial moments. And that is what happened with Lydia a few weeks ago at the 2023 Dana Open. Owing to a misunderstanding on her end, she got hit with 7 penalty strokes despite a good performance which brought her much media attention. After such a debacle, people are wondering whether the 19-time LPGA winner will be playing at the upcoming AIG Women’s Open next week.
Is Lydia Ko meeting the qualifications for the Women’s Open?
The AIG Women’s Open is the last major tournament of Women’s golf this season. The event will be held at Walton Heath Old Course, Surrey, England from 10-13 August. It is one of the most prestigious championships and last year it was won by Ashleigh Buhai. This year too big names of the female world will be showing their golfing skills on the green.
Players have qualified through exemption categories and non-exemption categories as well. The Women’s Open has announced the list of the players on their website who will be competing and Lydia Ko’s name is mentioned there.
Lydia qualifies for the event under a number of categories. Firstly anyone in the top 30 at the 2022 AIG Women’s Open Championship automatically earns entry, and Ko gave a spectacular performance by finishing on T7 last year. Secondly, the top 50 players on the 2023 Rolex Rankings Week July 3 can also play and Lydia has been maintaining her spot in the Top 5 since winning the Vare Trophy in 2022.
And then the winners of any recognized Individual LET event in 2023 could also play and Ko won the Aramco Saudi Ladies International in Saudi Arabia in February. These qualifications ensured Lydia’s spot next week in England. Now it will be worth watching how Ko will fare after the shocking incident of her penalty strokes.
Lydia Ko’s shocking seven strokes penalty at the Dana Open
The two times major winner was having a great week at the Dana Open but it was in the final round that things went downhill for the New Zealand golfer. On the fourth day, preferred lies were allowed from holes 1 and 10. Ko picked up her ball from the fairway on holes 3, 7, and 9 but she also picked up on the 11th hole as well which was not allowed. She was given seven strokes penalty by the authorities which was a big surprise for everyone.
Had she not been given the penalty she would have performed better as she maintained a good flow of 67-68-72 for three days. But she still has the Women’s Open to look forward to. With a good performance there, she could recover the damage done.