Ko a class act at Royal Melbourne

World number one, Lydia Ko, made some friends for life with her performance at the recent Australian Women’s Open at Royal Melbourne.

And it wasn’t through her superlative performance on the course, winning the event by two shots from Amy Yang, finishing nine-under-par for her four rounds at one of the world’s great layouts.

Lydia Ko Lydia Ko (Credit: www.golffile.ie)

No, it was the quiet, and impressive, effort by Ko to meet and greet fans and volunteers after her win.

After posing for photos with all and sundry, the 17-year-old Kiwi strolled up the steps to make her final stop of the night, the champion’s cocktail party.

There Ko slipped an envelope with $500 in it into the hand of Royal Melbourne’s assistant GM Andrea Watson to go towards the staff’s tournament “after-party”.

Her selfless effort was later described by RM chief executive Paul Rak as the ultimate in class acts.

“I’ve worked in this industry for 40 years and I’ve never heard of anything like that – especially from a 17-year-old,” Rak said.

“Lydia Ko is a class act – I can’t say enough about her.”

“She was very approachable to all our members and talked to them.”

“She’s just a great ambassador for the game and has a great appreciation of what makes clubs and tournaments work.”

“We’ve been lucky enough to have great golfers out here in the past couple of years who have been a delight to have around….Adam Scott was very giving, Matt Kuchar and Jason Day were tremendous, too.”

“With them and Lydia, it gives you a lot of confidence in where golf is going and the type of people involved.”

“She made a good impression on a lot of people, that’s for sure…and made a lot of our staff and volunteers very happy.”

“She’s a credit to golf and those around her.”