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Lydia Ko savors her chance to be Olympian

RIO DE JANEIRO — David Leadbetter might have his hands full next week.

The swing coach’s star pupil, world No. 1 Lydia Ko, will add a new wrinkle to her swing if she wins the gold medal as women’s golf returns to the Olympics.

“If I end up with a gold medal standing on the podium, I’m not sure I’ll ever take it off,” Ko said Monday ahead of Wednesday’s start of the women’s tournament at the Olympic Golf Course. “It will bruise me a little bit if I was swinging.”

She was kidding, of course, which comes very easy to her. Then again, she’s been, in her words, giddy since she started watching the Olympics last week and definitely since she landed here on Saturday.

“I love my sleep and I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten up at 7 a.m. to watch someone else play,” Ko said about her alarm going off Sunday so she could go to the golf course and watch Team New Zealand’s duo of Danny Lee and Ryan Fox in the final round of the men’s tournament.

Then she played six holes as the course was opening up to the women. Then she watched the medal ceremony and hooked up with…

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