Lydia Ko trades more cardio for 15-pound weight loss

CARLSBAD, CA - MARCH 23: Lydia Ko of New Zealand lines up her putt on the 4th green during Round Two of the LPGA KIA CLASSIC at the Park Hyatt Aviara golf course on March 23, 2018 in Carlsbad, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Lydia Ko trades more cardio for 15-pound weight loss

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Lydia Ko trades more cardio for 15-pound weight loss

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Lydia Ko’s changes in 2018 weren’t limited to her team. The 20-year-old is 15 pounds lighter thanks to a new cardio routine.

“For somebody that does zero cardio to just a little bit made a huge difference,” said Ko.

Usually when Ko spends extended time in South Korea over the offseason, she’s fairly chill. Sleep in late, no real workout routines. Last December, however, she acted as though she were living in Korea, keeping a sleep schedule and going to Pilates on the regular followed by the gym.

“I don’t feel bloated, which I think is a huge thing,” she said. “I’m trying to gain more muscle and lose a bit of the unnecessary fat. Everybody seems like they are hitting it longer and longer.”

Ko finished the 2017 season ranked 137th on the LPGA in driving distance at 243 yards. She was 126th the year before. In 2015, when Ko took all the year-end accolades and was No. 1 in the world, she ranked 60th in driving at 250 yards. In her rookie season she was 66th.

The improved fitness level and physical changes have given Ko another gear. She also hopes to cut down on fatigue toward the end of the season.

“I think when I want to rip it, the speed is faster,” she said.

Sung Hyun Park leads the tour in driving distance at 280.333. Ariya Jutanguarn (who rarely hits driver) is sixth at 275.895. Lexi Thompson ranks 11th at 271.364 and Brooke Henderson, who is closer to Ko in size, is 13th at 270.700.

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