Lydia Ko tests positive for Covid-19, withdraws from tournament in Saudi Arabia

Lydia Ko’s strong start to the year has been interrupted by a positive test for Covid-19.

The Kiwi star has been on a resurgence over the last 12 months with a string of solid results and in her last seven tournaments, she has finished inside the top 10.

However, she has been ruled out of the Aramco Saudi Ladies International in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, next week and will not be able to defend the title she won there last year.

“Our 2021 champion Lydia Ko has had to withdraw from the 2022 Aramco Saudi Ladies International next week, after testing positive for Covid-19,” tournament organisers said on social media. “We wish Lydia a speedy recovery and hope to see her back on the course soon!”


With the border beginning to open back up, Lydia Ko is itching to get back to New Zealand as soon as her schedule allows.

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The world No 3 is riding high after winning the Gainbridge LPGA event in Florida in January, and recently spoke of her desire to return to New Zealand after almost three years out of the country.

“Obviously super exciting times,” Ko said. “I haven’t made plans, as of now, to know exactly when I am going to go back,” she said.

“The last time I was back, it was in 2019 during the middle of the year, so hopefully I’ll be back soon.

“My best friend still lives over there, so even though I don’t have family there, I have people that I feel like are family, that are still there.

“Even just going back to my old school and the neighbourhood that I used to live in, it draws back so many good memories.

“So I would love to go back home, and it is super exciting to hear that the borders are open, and I can’t wait to be back whenever that may be,” she said.

“I do miss it.”

Ko earned $US300,000 ($NZ458,000) for winning the Gainbridge LPGA event, taking her career LPGA earnings to almost $US 12.7 million ($NZ19.3 million).

Ko finished in a tie for 23rd at the Women’s World Championship earlier this month, and put her good form down to technical improvements with swing coach Sean Foley, and a better mental approach to the game.

“I think at the end of the day I play my best when I’m enjoying my time out there and being a little bit more relaxed,” Ko said.

“Keeping that kind of mindset and just focusing on the one shot in front of me and trying to play the best golf I can.

“I’m trying to shoot the lowest score I can, and sometimes I’m not going to have my A Game, so trying to manage my way around it is just as important.”

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