Lydia Ko has finished off her first round at the 2021 US Women’s Open with a birdie and then a par to square the round with a 71 after a back-nine stumble blew away her wonderful start at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.
After a steady start with three early pars, Ko birdied the par-four 4th hole with a stunning approach shot that left her with just a three-foot putt. She then followed that up on holes six and seven with extra birdies to turn for home on the first page of the leaderboard at 3-under par.
“I think I got kind of like a member’s bounce and made a good birdie on four, and then on six, they moved the tee forward so it made the hole a lot easier than if the tee was in the back tees where we had been practicing,” Ko explained after her round.
Again she started the back nine with three par holes before a bogey on the par-three 13th hole and then a double-bogey on the par-four 14th where she three-putted after missing the fairway and then finding the deep rough near the bunker.
She dropped another shot at 16 but made amends at 17 with a 16-foot putt for birdie.
Ko said she was confident there was only a couple of blemishes amongst a relatively solid round.
“I played really solid. I had a couple not-so-good holes, but when you make a big number it doesn’t take much for you to make a double or a triple,” Ko said.
“So hopefully kind of keep that momentum going into tomorrow.
“You have to be grinding out there and be patient. Birdies are hard and it’s easy to make mistakes, so you just have to stay patient and enjoy it out there.
The small crowds were happy to see the sun arrive late on the first day and its clear Ko loves playing in the Bay area where she has had success in the past.
“I love this area, I feel like I’ve made a lot of great memories, got to know a lot of the people. I feel like every time I come out here I get a lot of support, which is great. I love coming back to a place where they enjoy seeing the LPGA and women’s golf.
“Obviously some amazing tracks around this area, so hopefully we will be able to come to this part of California more often.”
Fellow Kiwi Amelia Garvey finished three shots behind Ko on 3-over par in her first tournament as a professional.
17-year-old Amateur Megha Ganne is leading the tournament after day one on 4-under par alongside Mel Reid and Brooke Henderson.