Ko says money can wait
New Zealand schoolgirl sensation Lydia Ko, 15, has said the financial rewards for her astonishing success can wait — for now. Ko opens the defense of her NSW Open title in Sydney this week, a victory which opened the floodgates on a record-breaking season last year. At 14 she became the youngest player, male or female, to win a professional tournament and after turning 15 the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour at the Canadian Open. “When I went to prize givings and people say what I have done for that year it was like ‘Oh my God I actually did that?’” Ko told Australian media on yesterday. Ko was also the leading amateur at the British and US Opens, rounding off a remarkable year by winning the individual title at the world amateur championship. “I think I was meant to be the richest sportswomen in New Zealand and it would have been great to have that money,” Ko said. “But especially after the NSW Open, because I knew that I wasn’t going to get any money anyway, I didn’t really have interest. I didn’t know how much it was until the media said ‘you could have got US$300,000 at the Canadian Open.’ That could have been a nice house.” Ko insisted she will turn professional when the time is right. “There’s no point in me going in there when I don’t think I’m ready and I’m not that confident,” she said. “I think there will be a point in time where I think it’s the right time.”
Tsonga risks gender storm
France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has risked igniting a gender relations storm by provocatively suggesting female players are more “unstable emotionally” than the men. Tsonga, speaking after he bowed out of the Australian Open quarter-finals against Roger Federer late on Wednesday, was asked why the women’s game does not have a settled top three or four like the men. “You know, the girls, they are more unstable emotionally than us. I’m sure everybody will say it’s true, even the girls,” he said, to laughter in the press room. “No? No, you don’t think? But, I mean, it’s just about hormones and all this stuff. We don’t have all these bad things, so we are physically in good shape every time, and you [women] are not. That’s it.”
Korean star set to join QPR
South Korean international Yun Suk-young is set to join English Premier League side Queens Park Rangers, his K-League club said yesterday. Chunnam Dragons said the defender would soon leave his team’s training camp in Thailand for a medical in London. “He is expected to sign a contract with the QPR if he passes the test,” it said in a statement. Yun would be the 11th South Korean player to join the Premier League. South Korean veteran Park Ji-sung is already with QPR. Yun, 22, was an integral member of South Korea’s Olympic squad that won the bronze medal in London last year.
Socks prove costly
Frank Gore will pay closer attention to his socks for the Super Bowl. The San Francisco 49ers running back was fined US$10,500 by the NFL on Wednesday after he wore his socks too low in Sunday’s NFC Championship game at Atlanta, a uniform violation. It marked the second time he was fined this season. “Yeah, I’ll be cool. It’s all good,” Gore said. “I was wrong. Next time I’ll do better.” Gore says he was so focused on winning the game and getting the 49ers back to a Super Bowl at last that he did not give his uniform all the attention he should have. “When you’re playing, you don’t think about it,” Gore said. “You’re trying to win.”