Golf: Lydia Ko reveals sleepless nights before drought-breaking LPGA Tour win at Lotte Championship

Lydia Ko has revealed the sleepless nights she had during her three-year winless drought.

Ko clinched a stunning drought-breaking victory at the Lotte Championship, shooting a scintillating 28-under to win by seven strokes and vanquish any demons that had taken hold during the former World No 1’s struggles.

After winning 19 times before turning 21, Ko had a period where she struggled for form, followed by a stint where she was in contention, but couldn’t produce the final-round performances she had become accustomed to.

One of those final-round struggles came at the Marathon Classic in August, where Ko lost a five-shot lead with six holes to play in the final round, having led the field over the first three days.

After victory in Hawaii, she admitted she had struggled to sleep before that round.

“I told my mum this morning, before Marathon, I couldn’t even sleep on Saturday night – even though I’ve been in that position before, it had been such a long time, I think I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and I know there were a lot of expectations.

“But I slept great last night, I just said ‘hey, my fate is already chosen, and I’m just going to play the best golf I can’.”

Close calls and lost leads led to doubt creeping in for the 23-year-old.

“When you’re in that position, and it doesn’t happen, you do doubt. If I said I didn’t doubt myself at all, that would be a lie.

“Hand on my heart, there were times I wondered ‘hey, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be back in the winner’s circle’, but I’m obviously grateful for everything that has happened in my career so far. Being back in this position is super cool.”

Ko credited her coach Sean Foley for helping her overcome the mental aspect of her slump in form.

“Sean in particular has been a really huge help to clear a lot of questions and doubt in my mind.

“It proves it to myself and I think that’s the biggest thing.

“I’m proud of the way I stayed patient along the way and I know there’s still parts of my game I need to work on – keep it simple and keep moving forward.”

She also took inspiration from several recent winners on the men’s PGA Tour.

“With Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama winning the last couple weeks, I know it had been a while since they won as well, that kind of gave me a little bit of hope, thinking maybe I could follow that trend, but when you’re playing alongside the best female golfers, it’s not easy.”

It may not have been easy, but with Ko back to her best, it sure looked it.

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