Golf's newest Major Champion and proud New Zealander Lydia Ko held back tears last night as she described the countless hours of hard work in the gym that went into transforming her into the world's best golfer.

"Before I started playing I was just like every other New Zealander, jumping around a rugby pitch with crazed eyes and my big long tongue hanging out," said Ko. "I was destined to be a prop forward on the national team, like all the other girls."

Ko went on describe how it was coach David Leadbetter who presented her with the harsh reality of what was required to get to the top in the game of golf.

"It was David who said that if I wanted to get good at golf I needed to transform my physique into that of a tiny woman who looked like she was actually from Korea.  That was so tough but absolutely worth it. He also said that to be the best I should have no more than three letters in my surname.  My full name was Lydia Koingamala Tu'uipalata but we changed it to Ko by deed poll when I was 12. 
Ko hasn't ruled out going back to play rugby for New Zealand at some stage. "It's our duty as Kiwi's to play at least two years for the National side before the age of 28 but that's a long way off yet," joked the 18 year old.



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