Lydia Ko had an interesting day on Thursday. She turned 17, and shot a 68 at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic near San Francisco to sit tied for second after the first round. And, oh yeah, she was named to Time Magazine's 2014 list of the world's 100 most influential people.
The fast-rising star is the second youngest person on the list, behind only Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old torchbearer for girls' education in Pakistan. She joins pop singer Lorde as the only two New Zealanders to be selected. And she is one of only five athletes, along with tennis player Serena Williams, Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, basketball player Jason Collins, and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo.
One category in which Ko has plenty of company is women – there are a record 41, from Beyonce (who played a little golf herself recently) to Hillary Clinton, on the list this year.
"Lydia Ko is exceptionally talented, mature beyond her years and well liked by golf fans and competitors alike," Annika Sorenstam wrote in support of Ko. "She is responsible for sparking increased interest in our sport not just in her native South Korea and adopted homeland of New Zealand but also among juniors across the globe.
"Her early, record-breaking success brings with it incredible pressure — and she's doing a fantastic job handling the many responsibilities that accompany stardom."
Ko turned professional last fall after an unprecedented amateur creer in which she was the world's top-ranked amateur and a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour. She is already up to fourth in the Rolex Women's Rankings.
"Nervous" doesn't even begin to describe just how nervous 2013 Senior PGA Champion Kohki Idoki was on Thursday afternoon.
Standing on the edge of the ninth floor at the still-under-construction Inn at Harbor Shores, Idoki prepared to hit a shot from a platform over a parking lot filled with cars, across the street, and on to the fifth tee box, fashioned as a temporary green, at Harbor Shores -- site of the 2014 Senior PGA Championship, May 22-25 -- as part of Media Day.
Getting to the ninth floor alone was terrifying, as it required a ride on an outdoor elevator -- a cage on all four sides, as well as the elevator floor. Yikes!
Throughout the stunt, Idoki shook his head many times as if to say, "I can't believe I'm doing this," with the wind whipping on the cold, overcast southwest Michigan day.
The total distance of the shot? Two-hundred and 15 yards to a tiny target, about seven yards long and seven yards wide.
Idoki warmed up with a couple of swings to try and calibrate the distance, taking into account the extreme nine-story drop in elevation, along with the howling wind.
He finally settled on a utility-5 and hit the green to the delight of the 50 or so people gathered on the ninth-floor landing. You can see Idoki's shot and the reaction here:
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Rickie Fowler is a self-professed daredevil by trade. He loves active sports -- as evidenced by his short-lived motocross career (which ended after he broke his foot in three places at age 15.) And he'd like to get into racing cars when his golf career winds down.
But even Rickie had to have a few butterflies in his stomach when he decided to take a ride with acrobatic ace and two-time Red Bull Air Race champion Kirby Chambliss recently over the pilot's property in Arizona.
You may need to take some Dramamine before you watch this:
According to the Red Bull website, Fowler "did it rocking mad steeze." I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I'm guessing it's a compliment of the highest order.
April 24 is remembered in part as the day of the creation of the Library of Congress, the opening of the Woolworth Building skyscraper in New York, the knighting of Winston Churchill and the birthdate of Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog.
But for golf fans, April 24 is more importantly the birthdays of Lee Westwood, Lydia Ko, Jonas Blixt and Jason Bohn.
To celebrate the occasion, we present this gallery of photos.
Westwood got himself a nice early birthday present last week with a victory at the Malaysian Open, snapping a two-year winless drought. Here are the final round highlights:
Indiana Jones would not be amused.
According to the FootJoy Europe Twitter account, there's an unusual hazard at this week's European Tour stop:
An interesting sign displayed at the Volvo China Open. The players won't want to hit it off line round this track! pic.twitter.com/1PhbnGeUIu
— FootJoy Europe (@FootJoyEurope) April 24, 2014
It doesn't say if the snakes are in the fairways, the water hazards, the rough or the bunkers. Or, most importantly, whether they're poisonous. Just be aware that there are snakes.
Oh, and 2013 was the Year of the Snake in China. So these snakes apparently don't have up-to-date calendar apps.