Lydia Ko of New Zealand smiles on the practice range prior to the start of the final round of the 2017 HSBC Women's Champions.
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By Marika Washchyshyn
Thursday, March 09, 2017

World No. 1 Lydia Ko knows something about winning majors, and she has her pick for who will don the green jacket this year at Augusta National.

The 19-year-old LPGA star agrees with oddsmakers who put Hideki Matsuyama near the top of their lists, but it wasn't until after some careful thought while speaking on the GOLF.com podcast that she came to that decision.

"I could definitely go with Hideki Matsuyama, he's been playing the most amazing golf," Ko said. "I wish I could play like him!"

Matsuyama got off to a roaring start this season, winning four times and finishing in the top-10 five other times across both the PGA and European tours. It's an easy pick, but even Ko appreciates the vast amount of talent in the men's game right now. She was quick to offer her praises of other top players too. "I'm a huge fan of golf in general and the players on both the PGA Tour and European tour. I learn from them and I think the PGA Tour itself is in an exciting time right now."

Ko defends her title at the LPGA's first major of the season, the ANA Inspiration March 30 at Mission Hill Country Club. And even though the women are off the week of the Masters, Ko won't be making the trip to Augusta as a patron -- or caddie, as she did for Kevin Na during the 2016 par-3 contest -- this year. She'll just have to cheer on Matsuyama from her couch.

"I had a lot of fun caddying for Kevin Na on one hole," Ko said, laughing. "Maybe next time I can caddie for more than just one."

You can listen to the full podcast below.

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