Lydia Ko attributes her new ‘Thunderbolt’ putter to a change in her putting performances over the last month after she moved up the leaderboard to be tied for 6th after the second day of the Pelican Women’s Championship at Belleair in Florida.
After starting six shots behind the leaders on day two, Ko was out early birdying three of the first nine holes and followed up with two on the back nine to finish with a 3-under 67 for the day, five shots behind the leader Sei Young Kim on 8-under.
In particular, Ko’s driving distance went up today from 262 yards on day one to 283 on day two. Her putting also improved, possibly from the change in green speed from day one but also the new magic Thunderbolt putter.
“I had the new putter (PXG Thunderbolt) going into Georgia,(the previous LPGA tournament) and that week was probably the most putts I’ve holed compared to the whole year, so I feel like that gave me a little bit of confidence,” Ko said speaking to the media after her round at Belleair.
“It’s called the Thunderbolt, so I’m hoping it just thunder bolts into the hole.
“I think with golf, you know, even though it’s all there, you just got to have that one thing moving in the right momentum.
“Then you just see it going in, you see it going on the fairways. It’s a momentum thing for me, and I feel like I’m trending in the right direction.”
The morning play for Ko made it easier as the wind was softer than on day one but she also felt the course was a little softer overall.
“I don’t know if it was something that the rules officials saw after the first day and wanted to make a little softer or it was just that playing in the morning made it a little softer.
“I think it was playing less firm than yesterday, which made it a touch easier.
“I had a few more birdie opportunities compared to yesterday. Obviously finished strong with a couple of birdies coming in my first round, but I was scrambling a lot to make pars. The course, especially with the wind direction, sometimes the hole can play a lot longer or shorter, so you kind of have to play that to your strength.
“But, no, holed a few good like 15-footers and made a really good birdie on 2, so I felt like it was kind of like two shots going into that hole.
“I just feel like everything kind of came together, and I’ve been hitting my driver really well. Hopefully, continue that and a few more looks for birdies on the weekend.”
South Korean Kim leads by one shot over American Ally McDonald on 7-under with day one leader German Sophia Popov and England’s Stephanie Meadow back a further stroke in third on 6-under.
Ko is back with a bunch of players on 3-under including Australian Minjee Lee.