Victoria's Ko Says CP Women’s Tourney Experience Will Be A Big Benefit

Victoria's Namoi Ko Didn't Make It To The Weekend At The CP Canadian Women's Open But She's Got A Bright Future Ahead Of Her - Image Credit Jurgen Kaminski (JKam Photos)

By Gord Montgomery (iG)

PRIDDIS GREENS - While experience in the moment may be painful, down the road it often comes in extremely handy.

That's the viewpoint Victoria, B.C.'s Naomi Ko is taking back to college after failing to make the cut at the 2016 LPGA CP Women's Open outside of Calgary, AB.

Ko, who ended up at plus-3 with the cutline at minus-1, said while she was disappointed not to be playing on the weekend she did learn several important things about her game, and how to manage it, that will come in handy in the future.

And this event, she noted, was a great way to wrap up a great summer. "It's been a really good year and after (winning) the Canadian Junior Girls Championship, and knowing that I got an exemption to the Open, it was like icing on the top really! Every moment of it was a really good experience to me which is what I need as I prepare to go pro."

The largest takeaway she gets from this LPGA tournament and an earlier such event in Portland, Oregon, is how the professional players ready themselves for competition on a daily basis. And then how they go about playing the game once they swing into action, "I think it's just looking at the different types of games people play, not just hitting it on the fairway, hitting it on the green. It's really how they're getting it in the hole.

"When you're playing well things are perfect. It's actually how they play (when things aren't going well) and get the ball into the hole. What I learned has made a big impact on my game. And, it also helped my attitude, keeping a positive attitude. It doesn't matter where it goes - just get it in the hole!"

image credit jurgen kaminski (jkam photos)

As Part Of Her Learning Experience At An LPGA Event, Ko Put On A Morning Ladies Golf Clnic 

Another key lesson learned had to do with being ready to begin not just a round but an entire tournament, she continued, "I would say the largest difference (here) is preparation. When I went to the U.S. Open, people were there four or five days before the event.

"It's just that preparation is a little bit different. Also, you're playing for money so you add that kind of pressure. College golf is pretty competitive as well, but it's just knowing you're beside the best players in the world and just learning from them."

One pro Ko picked up a few ad-hoc pointers from was Michelle Wie, who shared a tee box with the Canadian during the third round at Priddis Greens. While there were no spoken tips passed down, there were several ideas that Ko observed which she would like to work into her own game.

"She's very creative with her shots. I heard her talking with her father and it wasn't just, 'I'm going to hit this club because it goes this far. I'm going to try and hit a fade, or the wind is going to affect it a little bit.' I do try and get creative with my shots and I think I've gotten better over the years, but that was the major thing I picked up from her. Being creative with her shots."

In speaking to her play at the CP Women's Open, Ko said more than anything it was her performance on the short grass that cost her a weekend tee slot. "My ball striking was pretty good, I just couldn't make the putts, which seems to have been a pattern over the last couple of weeks. It was a little disappointing to not make the cut but really, it was the experience that matters for me. Hopefully it will be like that through the years but especially this year."

Ko is also representing Team Canada as a member of the women's team heading to Riviera Maya, Mexico for the World Amateur Team Championship from September 14-17th.