Lydia Ko Wins The McCormack Medal Again. Turning Pro ?

Lydia Ko

Three Peat, Lydia Ko / Getty Images

Teenage Kiwi  Lydia Ko has received the McCormack Medal as the world’s leading women amateur for a third straight year. The medal was presented by the Royal & Ancient and United States Golf Association on Wednesday.

Sixteen year-old Lydia successfully defended the Canadian Women’s Open title on the LPGA Tour, then finished runner-up at the Evian Championship, the year’s last major. Other highlights include a tie for third in the Australian Women’s Open, and tie for 17th in the LPGA Championship.

According to reports Lydia will play in the season-ending CME Titleholders in November as a professional. She is  already a two-time winner on the LPGA, and hinted at such a move at the Evian Championship last month, where she finished runner-up to Suzann Pettersen.

Tina Hyon, Lydia’s mother, told Golf Channel on Wednesday that she will play the Titleholders in Naples, Fla., and might even compete in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational the week prior.

Lydia will need to receive permission from LPGA commissioner Mike Whan to compete on the LPGA prior to her 18th birthday. The Kiwi sensation will not turn 17 until April 24 next year. She is currently world-ranked No 5.

Natalie Gulbis Has Malaria

Natalie Gulbis

Natalie Gulbis

The LPGA and Natalie’s agents, IMG, confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that she  has withdrawn from the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup that begins Thursday in Phoenix, because she has been diagnosed with Malaria.

Natalie first became ill at the HSBC Champions in Singapore, an event from which she withdrew. The early reports suggested she was suffering from flu.

David Livingston, Natalie’s’ IMG agent told the Golf Channel.

” She’s not feeling well. She does have flu-like symptoms, but, to be clear, she has not been hospitalized and there is no diagnosis of malaria.”

Luckily for Natalie she has not contracted the fatal form of the disease, the LPGA doctors have been consulted and they believe she is on appropriate medications, under great care, and her prognosis is excellent. She is expected to be at full strength in three weeks.

Lucky girl, Malaria is a potentially fatal tropical disease that’s caused by a parasite known as Plasmodium. It’s spread through the bite of an infected female mosquito. The infected person may have feverish attacks, tiredness, diarrhoea or a whole range of other symptoms.

Malaria is one of the leading causes of disease and death in the world. It is estimated that there are 300 to 500 million new cases every year, with 1.5 to 2.7 million deaths worldwide.

We wish you well Natalie, and a full and speedy recovery.

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am- Poor TV coverageer ret

Charlie Wi leads the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, after a round of -3 under par at Pebble beach, and a total of -12 for the tournament. He said of his round today;

“I thought Pebble played really difficult today. The greens were very firm, and the guys that shot 8 or 9-under out there, I was very surprised how well they played, because the greens were so firm. Some of the pins were really tricky. I said, gosh, how did they shoot 9-under out there? And for me to shoot 3-under today, I was very pleased. I took an approach today saying this is just a new day, and whatever happened yesterday I was going to put it behind me and just start fresh.”

The biggest story of the day revolved around the TV coverage from Golf Channel, the comments go like this;  Pebble Beach Pro-Am comes along and it is nearly unwatchable.  It is absolutely ridiculous that live coverage is only provided at Pebble Beach Golf Links.  In years past I could understand not providing live coverage at Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula. No coverage from  Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula does not make sense to the viewing public, quite a number of whom have tuned in to see how Bill Murray and D.A Points are doing in their defense of their title. Given the fact that  Tiger Woods is undoubtedly the biggest draw in golf, yet the Golf Channel does not send a live crew to cover his round at Spyglass Hill.

By contrast the coverage shown at the Alfred Dunhill Links Pro-Am,  a similar tournament in structure to Pebble Beach.  St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarn each host a round, a cut is made after three rounds and the final round takes place at St. Andrews.  Live coverage was provided at all three courses. Spyglass Hill had Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson for Round One.  It makes no sense that they would be ignored for Dustin Johnson and Vijay Singh playing at Pebble Beach. The people in charge of coverage for the Golf Channel and CBS should be shown a tape of the Dunhill Links coverage.  It is clear that they have no clue on how to cover a pro-am tournament on three courses.

PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 09:  American football player Tony Romo (L) and playing partner Tiger Woods shake hands following their round during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at the Spyglass Hill Golf on February 9, 2012 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

No live coverage of Tiger and Tony Romo
Jeff Gross/Getty Images