“My Evian Championship” by Lydia Ko

Hi there everyone, I’m Lydia Ko, and my teacher and friend David Leadbetter invited me to say a few words to you all about the exciting week I’ve just had. I just returned from The Evian Championship in France that resulted in my very first major victory. Well, you know, there golfers of all levels out there who say they don’t know where their games would be without David, but I can safely say that I don’t know where my golf clubs would have been last week at the tournament without him! Let me tell you what happened.

First, there were bad thunderstorms that delayed my flight out of Orlando on Saturday, and then we had to run through the Newark Airport to make our connection to Europe. Essentially, when I got to the hotel in Evian, none of my bags made it with me, including my golf bag!

My luggage did eventually arrive on Monday morning, but still no clubs :( . Oh well, equally important, at least I had my makeup! :)

David said on the phone that he would bring my backup set of clubs from Orlando when he left from Florida on Sunday. Although he was confident my “real” set would arrive soon, as he put it, “having two sets of clubs is better than having none!”

So when he got to the airport in Geneva Monday morning after the long trip, there were my clubs waiting for him. Which meant that when he got to his hotel, he was carrying THREE sets of clubs with him: my real ones, my backup set, and his own! So although I was only at the Evian for one day without my clubs, it gave me a little bit of extra rest, which is always helpful after a long trip across the pond.

My swing was in pretty good shape going into the week, so my work on the range with David, and our A Swing stuff, didn’t involve anything new. We just kind of tried to keep my swing thoughts simple, and maybe just a tweak here and there. Keeping it simple works best for me because it lets me play my best without really overthinking it, which I sometimes have a tendency to do. My biomechanics coach and David’s friend for many years JJ Rivet was at the tournament too, and we did a little work together early in the week, which was great.
My mom and sister and my performance trainers were all there, along with my caddy of course, so there was a real team atmosphere about the week, which is something that’s always been important to me. David was there all week, which I really appreciated, and which his schedule doesn’t always allow him to do at our tournaments. He’s so much more to me than a golf coach, and I’m sure his other players would agree with me on that. He’s someone I can talk to…and complain to at times! But he’s always there for me and I appreciate him so much and in so many ways.

 Well, all of the excitement of the week is now kind of over, including my physios taping up my ankle and knee (pink to match my shorts of course!), which I injured just a little on Thursday.

I couldn’t believe that last birdie putt went in on the 72nd hole on Sunday. Also, I’ve never been as saturated from the rain either, which was fitting with the name of the event, and also because my fellow competitor Amy Yang showered me with a whole bottle of Evian right there on the 18th green! But it still felt really good.

Luckily I was able to borrow a sweatshirt from my close friend and fellow LPGA Tour player Danielle Kang, and off we all went back to my hotel, The Hermitage, for a dinner celebration of, what else? … great French food!

Speaking of France, I want to say how nice everyone there was to me and how much I love listening to the French language (and no, I don’t really know French except for a few words. I’m working on it!).  

Let me also say that Evian, France… I guess the official name is Evian-les Bains…is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I especially love it late at night there when the town and Lake Geneva are pitch black and you can see the lights across the lake twinkling and shining in the dark. It’s such a wonderful place, and I’m really looking forward already to returning there to play next year.

-Lydia Ko