Lydia Ko Riding the Momentum Wave Heading into Two-Week Asia Swing

Lydia Ko on the driving range at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore (Instagram)
Lydia Ko on the driving range at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore (Instagram)

Lydia Ko continues to ride off the high of her win in Hawaii at the Lotte Championship just two weeks ago as she starts a two-week Asia tournament swing on Thursday.

Her 16th victory on the LPGA Tour, Ko said she proved to herself she had the ability to make it back inside the winner’s circle.

The newly turned 24-year-old then took on the LA Open, an event on a course she admits she’s never been comfortable at. A 78 on Wednesday at Wilshire Country Club contributed to her first missed cut since the 2020 Women’s Australian Open.

“Good and very bad in the span of two weeks, but you know what, even in L.A. I had a really rough first day but I played solid on the second day,” Ko explained after landing in Singapore after a 17-hour flight from Los Angeles.

“I feel like I’m still coming in with good momentum and winning in Hawaii definitely built the confidence for me to say that, hey, you know, I can be back in the winner’s circle. So great to be in that kind of a position again.

“We all have good days and bad days. My bad day was just on that Wednesday. Obviously, a very quick turnaround that week with us not having access to the golf course on Sunday, and then trying to get in as much work done on Monday and Tuesday with player director duties, we had a board meeting, as well.

“To be honest, I haven’t played well at that golf course before, so it is what it is. Some courses you just play well and some courses you don’t play as well.

“All in all, I still had a great week outside of that one Wednesday, and that one day is not going to ruin my whole week for me. So, yeah, I still had a great time there.

“I think I needed a little bit of rest and recovery leading up to this event, especially with it being pretty warm this week and next.

“I’m feeling good, and I think overall, all of us players are very grateful for the opportunity to come over here.”

Lydia Ko is doing her best to adjust to the time difference in Singapore.

Thanks to a seven-mile hike before her international flight from Los Angeles, Ko said she slept about 13 hours en route to the HSBC Women’s World Championship, while also enjoying a few hours of television (specifically, episodes of Chopped) before landing.

Players had to quarantine on arrival in Singapore until they returned a negative text for Covid-19 so it was a quiet day and a half for Ko before appearing at the media conference.

Though the jetlag hit her more on Tuesday, Ko awoke and was immediately productive, getting her day started with a 6am workout.

“I hope I wasn’t loud for the person in the room staying under me,” said Ko, “It’s not often that I wake up early enough to work out at that time.”

And if battling jetlag was one obstacle, Ko said the heat will be another the 69-player field will have to adjust to as the week bares on.

“The best way to explain it is like going to a sauna, but you don’t have to pay. It’s a complimentary sauna pretty much throughout the day. But everyone is playing in the same conditions. The storm is going to hit at the same time, so I don’t think it’s an advantage to one player or not,” said Ko.

“So it’s a level playing field, and you’ve got to expect it’s going to be warm when you’re coming to this side of the world, anyways. This is what we knew we were going to face, these kinds of challenges, but it is what it is.”

The HSBC Women’s World Championship marks the LPGA Tour’s first tournament in Asia since November 2019, on Tuesday players had the chance to reacquaint themselves with both course and conditions at Sentosa Golf Club.

The World No. 1 Jin Young Ko is back in Singapore for the third time, looking to build on her last two visits to Sentosa Golf Club.

“My game is getting better, so I hope soon to be in the winner’s circle, and I will focus on my game and I will fight with heart.”

Lydia Ko’s Singapore tournament begins at 1.25pm NZT on Thursday when she tees off with World number two Inbee Park and Australian Minjee Lee. Coverage of the HSBC Women’s World Championship begins on Sky Sport 6 at 2.30pm on Thursday.

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