Aug 2nd, 2015
Jin-Young Ko's 17 year old caddie
£20,000 in the back pocket...
Words: Tim Southwell Photography: Getty Images
Cinderella Story!! When Korean Jin-Young Ko turned up for the Ricoh Women's British Open last week, she didn't have a caddie, so she asked around and the name of Jeff Brighton, a 17 year old local caddie was put forward. And now the young fella has earned just shy of £20,000 (10% of the winner's cheque) with Jin-Young's second place finish.
And then I'm gonna buy a speed boat and a swimming pool and...
And that's not all. Jin-Young Ko is making her very first appearance in a major! I mean, this is the stuff of fairytales right?
Ko may have taken the transition from the Far East to the Ayrshire coast in her stride but there has been plenty of canny, local knowledge to aid the cause. She has hired the services of Girvan caddie Jeff Brighton for this week’s championship and the alliance continues to reap considerable rewards.
“Jeff talked me through my round and I have to attribute every shot to him,” said Ko. “We looked at a few caddies and we thought he was the best guy, and he is. He has helped me every day after I played only one practice round on Wednesday. This is my first time in Scotland and you get all the seasons in one day – sun, wind and rain. I had not played in wind before and it’s really different.”
Ko may be a raw recruit when it comes to the major arena but she is a four-time winner on the Korean Ladies Tour. She also has a handy mentor in the shape of compatriot Inbee Park, the world No 1. Park, a five-time Major winner who is aiming for the career Grand Slam this week, is still in the hunt having posted a 69 to sit three off the lead with a 211 but Ko is hoping to scupper the ambitions of a player who continues to be a great inspiration to her.
“When I was growing up I watched Inbee and she was an inspiration,” said Ko, who bolstered her clamber up the leaderboard with a burst of birdies at the fourth, sixth and seventh. “She gave me motivation to want to succeed and she has since given me a lot of advice. I like Inbee a lot. She is a very good person and a great motivator."
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