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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Lexi and Lydia

I watched the ladies play in Indianapolis. It shaped up to be an exciting final day with Lydia Ko going head to head with Lexi. Instead, it just fizzled. It was not exactly a nail-biter. 

Lexi is becoming a complete player. Her power game is now complimented by an excellent wedge game and finally some decent putting. She seems to be on track to threaten for the number one spot. That would certainly make our American friends happy. And, why not? Lexi is a terrific player with a great attitude to go along with her impressive game.

Lydia Ko looked like she might be finally making a comeback. But she looked mediocre at best on a day when she needed to make birdies if she was going to keep pace with Lexi. Lydia has been making changes. She's changed caddies. She's changed equipment. She's made swing changes to try to get longer, which can be the kiss of death. Just ask Matteo Manassero, another "can't miss kid" who thought he needed to get longer. 

 Lydia seems to have gone from a teenaged phenom who could seemingly do no wrong, to a slow, mechanical player. It was almost painful to watch. Even the commentators couldn't resist commenting on the snail's pace of her play. 

To a degree, the match up between Lexi and Lydia reminded me of the recent match up of Spieth and DJ, but without the drama. Lexi, like DJ, pretty much just did her thing, using power and precision. Lydia, like Spieth, could have certainly managed to lose much faster. Watching both of them play is becoming painful, with all the consulting with their caddies and the time it takes them to pull the trigger. What ever happened to that precocious kid who went about her business like it was a walk in the park? 

Bobby Jones said that golf is the only game that gets more difficult the longer you play it. It seems that Lydia is experiencing that reality now. She's making changes. I just wonder whether she ever wishes she could just go back to when things weren't quite so complicated. Everyone wants to get better in this game. But what about when you're already the best? The problem with making swing changes trying to get better, or longer, is that there is no guarantee that you won't get worse instead. It happens.