Lydia Ko has started strong in the opening round of the KPMG Women’s US PGA Championships overnight in Pennsylvania.
In a consistent round of golf, building on her growth in the past the fours months under new coach Sean Foley, Ko shot four birdies for the round with only two bogeys, one to finish the round on the 18th, to finish 2-under for the round and tied for second with a group including World Number three Danielle Kang.
Ko is a shot behind the leaders Brittany Lincicome and Kelly Tan who both shot a 3-under round of 68.
After her round, Ko said she hit the ball solidly and tried to hit as many fairways and greens as she could.
“It was pretty tough out there with it being breezy,” Ko said. “I feel like every day, even though the wind might say like 10 or 12 miles an hour, it always feels a little bit higher than that.
“So I tried to play consistent and I feel like I’ve done that well. Hopefully, I’m going to continue doing that.
“This is a very tricky golf course, and I think you really have to be focused out there, and with the breeze being up the last few days, the greens have really dried out.
“Being below the hole and giving yourself more uphill looks for birdies and pars there is I think going to be some of the big keys.
“Nice to be able to start with a solid round and hopefully I’ll be able to keep the good momentum going for the rest of the week.”
Although Ko felt good about her round, she spent some time after the finish doing some practice putts afterwards to try and work through some issues.
“I three-putted the last hole, and I hit it way too hard, harder than my driver, I think, on the last, so trying to get it to be a little bit more of a dying pace.
“I was talking to Sean after the round and he said, if you’re going to think about something, maybe just a little shorter with the putting stroke just so that they’re not ramming in there, especially as it’s getting drier and with the slope.
“Sometimes you can have a longer second putt because of the harder lip-outs. That’s something I’m going to try and be focused on, but for me and my game, I’m trying not to overcomplicate things and just go out there and simplify and do my best.”
Foley started working with Ko in July and has been credited with a change of mindset and also technique change from Ko since then.
“Sean is actually here this week, and I think he’s around until tomorrow. I think this is less than five fingers how many times he’s been at an LPGA event, so it’s cool that he’s come out here to work with a few of us.
“I think it’s always a little bit different to what my misses could be or what the tendencies are like on the range to being on the golf course, and being at a tournament site, as well.
“It’s been nice to have him here, and he can also see when I’m under the gun like what my tendencies are and all that.
“I think he gives a lot of good vibes just him being here, so I’ve really enjoyed that, and we’ve really not done much — too many technical things and just continued to do what we’ve been working on these past few months.”