World No. 1 Lydia Ko looking forward to Serapong return
Kiwi world No. 1 in fine form as she prepares for another battle at Serapong
After Lydia Ko's maiden Major win at the Evian Championship last September, golf coach David Leadbetter predicted his protege was on a history-making path.
For the champions, golf is all about amassing Majors wins, in a bid to write themselves into the history books.
It could be a tougher hurdle for the 18-year-old to overcome, when the New Zealand native has stated she will retire from the professional game at age 30.
Even then, she is in no hurry to chalk up Major wins in 2016.
Instead, Ko has made the Rio Olympic Games her top priority this year.
In a conference call on Sunday, the world No. 1 said: "The Olympics would probably be the highest (in my list of priorities this year)... Especially as an athlete to say that you're an Olympian, to play alongside the world's best, to be in that Olympic atmosphere, and to cheer on other Olympians representing your country, it is such a special moment.
"It is going to be a busy year because of the Olympics, but I am going to take it one day at a time... In that way, I am not rushing and thinking ahead," added the teenage sensation, who will return to Sentosa Golf Club's Serapong Course to compete in the HSBC Women's Champions from March 3 to 6.
That mental fortitude had been important in the former top amateur's rise through the professional ranks, especially in the face of expectations from the fans and the media, who couldn't wait for her to set new milestones despite her tender age.
Ko became the youngest Major winner at the Evian Championship last year and her game has improved by leaps and bounds.
She mused: "I feel very fortunate to play on the Tour with the girls... (But) when the media tell me I have a chance to break a certain record, it does put a bit more pressure on me.
"But I just try to focus on the shot ahead of me and not think about the result or anything that comes after... That is the most important thing for me; trying to keep it simple and not over-complicate things."
The past year has seen Ko and South Korean Park Inbee joust for the world No. 1 status, and Ko will continue that friendly rivalry with Park at Serapong next month.
Ko finished second to Park in the same tournament last year by two strokes and she's looking forward to challenging herself again on the "tough" course.
She said: "It's not a course where you'd be expecting to shoot very low scores, but there are holes where you can get these birdie opportunities and there are holes where you'd come out with a par and it's still a good job."
BY THE NUMBERS
On Aug 26, 2012, Lydia Ko became the youngest winner of an LPGA Tour event (Canadian Women's Open) and only the fifth amateur champion at age of 15 years, 4 months and 2 days.