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Elizabeth Bethel

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Lydia Ko, a teenager who is a remarkably talented athlete, who has fired the imagination of the golf world with her fluid swing and her laser-focused putts, who seemed to want nothing more than to play another round of golf, and who surely should have the right to enjoy both her teenage years and the process of developing her career as a professional golfer, is caught in a vortex of controversy not of her making.  It's about money and government agendas and parental aspirations. Lydia Ko turned pro golfer last fall and almost immediately took home a $150K paycheck for her first professional win, the 2013 Swinging Skirts World Ladies...

Sunday at the JTBC Founders Cup is filled with the promise of some great golf and perhaps some high drama, particularly at the top of the leaderboard.  With twenty-two players going into the final round within five strokes of the lead on a golf course that's in nearly perfect condition, Sunday is sure to include a shootout well worth watching.  Two of the likely contenders are rookies Lydia Ko and Mirim Lee. Tangle at the Top of the Board At the top of the leaderboard, Kiwi Lydia Ko and South Korean Mirim Lee will continue their battle for the top spot.  After holding the lead through the first and second rounds, Lee had to make...

Ariya Jutanugarn is not a typical Thai teenaged girl.  To watch the eighteen-year old play a round of golf is to watch raw energy, aggression, and athleticism brought into a singular focus.   The youngest child in a golfing family -- Jutanugarn's parents own Rose Garden Golf Course in Bangkok, Thailand and her older sister, Moriya plays on the LPGA Tour -- Airya comes to the tee box fully prepared mentally as well as technically to seize the win. Like Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, Charley Hull, and Minjee Lee, the other rising teen stars on the global women's golf stage, Jutanugarn picked up a golf club when she was very young....

Aussie teen amateur Minjee Lee is coming into the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Haikou in China hot and ready!  After two failed starts, the world's number one amateur has claimed her first pro victory, a breathtaking six-stroke win over Scotland's Vikki Laing at the Oates Victorian Open two weeks ago. Next Lee goes up against four of the game’s top-ranked players in the World Ladies Championship at Mission Hills Haikou: Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu, Suzann Pettersen, and Shanshan Feng.  They're all inside the top ten in the world rankings and they're all stepping up to the first tee intent on winning. She'll also play...

Seventeen-year old Australian Minjee Lee is the newest youngster to come knocking at the door of professional golf.  She's been traveling a familiar route, collecting victories and trophies from junior and amateur regional, national and international events since 2010, sharpening her technical skills and strengthening her mental game. Lee collected her first pro victory in February at the 2014 Oates Victorian Open, and while her win may have put her on the international radar for the first time, Australian golf fans have been following Lee for a couple of years now: I had not heard of Minjee's deeds prior to the open 2 years back...

Sixteen year old Lexi Thompson's star was already rising when she and fourteen-year old New Zealander Lydia Ko were paired for the first round of the 2012 Australian Ladies Masters.   Thompson was hot from wins at the Navistar LPGA Classic and the LET Dubai Ladies' Masters.  Ko, who was just emerging as an amateur star on the pro links, would became the youngest winner of a professional golf Tour event the following Sunday when she won the women's New South Wales Open by four strokes. Their pairing foreshadowed the emergence of a teen cohort that within two years would be leading women's golf into a tremendously exciting,...

Golf legend Laura Davies recently summed up seventeen-year old Charley Hull's prospects as a pro golfer with a single short sentence: "Charley has a very bright future." Although most American golf fans first met Charley Hull last summer when she trounced Paula Creamer in their singles match at the 2013 Solheim Cup, Hull's been playing golf for just about as long as she's been walking; and she's been playing competitive golf and building her resume since she was nine, the year she won the UK National Ladies Championship at Turnberry.   Britain's Tiny Tigress In 2006, at the age of ten, Hull played with American Morgan...

What do American Lexi Thompson, New Zealander Lydia Ko, Englishwoman Charley Hull, Thai Ariya Jutanurgarn, and Australian Minjee Lee have in common?  They're all teenagers, they're all competitive golfers, and they're poised to collectively lead women's golf into a bright and dynamic future. Some say the game of golf has lost its way, kidnapped by equipment manufacturers and sidetracked by celebrity worshippers.  They claim the sport Tiger popularized has derailed itself, become too expensive for ordinary recreational golfers.  The litany despairs.  Pro golf has lost its glitter and excitement, some cry, and amateur golf has...

On the face of it, Condoleezza Rice and Dottie Pepper don't have much in common, except they both play golf. Dottie Pepper is 48 years old, has won seventeen times on the LPGA Tour, including the Nabisco Dinah Shore in 1992 and 1999.  In addition to her LPGA Tour victories, Pepper represented the United States six times at the Solheim Cup and served as one of Meg Mallon's co-captains for the 2013 Solheim. Following her retirement from pro golf Pepper has enjoyed a career as a remarkably knowledgeable and insightful sports commentator for NBC and The Golf Channel, working both men's and women's sporting events, and she's an...

LPGA teen phenom Lydia Ko is defending her championship at the New Zealand Women's Open.  LET teen phenom and 2013 Rookie of the Year, Charley Hull, is on the prowl for her first pro win.  Ko and Hull are paired for the first and second rounds of the LET-ALPG co-sanctioned event that began today.  Ko's the defending champion playing on home ground and the favorite to win, but Englishwoman Laura Davies doesn't agree.  Davies has been playing pro golf for 29 years and holds an incredible 84 professional titles. She knows her way around most of the world's golf courses and she's seen fully a generation of new golfers enter and pass...
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