Lydia Ko is in a really good place now. The Kiwi golfer not only enjoyed her best season in recent years but is also over the moon about her fiance, Korean Chung Jun.
"He is obviously a very special person in my life. Having met him, I think he motivates and inspires me to become a better person and a better player," said Ko after winning the LPGA's season-ending CME Group Tour Championship yesterday, which was her 19th tour title and worth a cool USD2 million.
Ko describes Jun - who was there at Tiburon Golf Cub to watch her sink the final putt of the season - as her lucky charm.
"I think when I first met him, it was just before my win in Hawaii and then actually a few of the girls said, "hey, he is your lucky charm". I was, like, yeah, I've got to keep him around!
"He puts a smile on my face, and I know that no matter if I shoot 79 like I did at Congressional or I shoot 65, he will always love me and talk to me the same way," shared the two-time Major winner.
With three wins this year, Ko also picked up the LPGA Player of the Year awards as well as the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average, and has climbed up to No 3 in the Rolex Women's World Rankings. However, the 25-year-old noted that she is now learning how to separate golf from life and to take time off.
"After meeting him, I've actually wanted to work harder during the times that I am working, and then also enjoy time off. I think I probably had a few more breaks than I did two, three years ago, but I think that's just only helped me to be more focused and be more on when I'm actually doing my work," she said.
Ko added that winning in front of Jun, who is the son of the Hyundai Card vice chairman Chung Tae-young, made it extra special.
"I remembered last year he was saying, oh, what if she doesn't play well because I'm here? I don't want him to think that, because if I don't play well, it's totally me. It's not anybody around me that's made that happen.
"So I wanted to win in front of him, win for him. Obviously me winning today doesn't change anything about our relationship, but I think just to be able to celebrate such a special moment with my loved ones makes it extra meaningful."