Shabu Shabu Dinner the Key to Lydia Ko’s Solid Start at ANA Inspiration

Lydia Ko ANA Inspiration Round 1 (LPGA/Getty)
Lydia Ko ANA Inspiration Round 1 (LPGA/Getty)

Lydia Ko believes a dinner of Shabu Shabu was the reason for her solid play in the opening round of the ANA Inspiration in the Californian desert today.

The first round of the second major of the LPGA tour season saw Ko finish with a 3-under 69 and is just three shots from the leader American Nelly Korda who finished on 6-under.

But it was Ko’s dinner the night before that had her talking following the round.

“I was actually talking about the Shabu Shabu in my press conference a few days ago, and then Miho, the owner there, she got me Shabu Shabu last night delivered to my place, so maybe that was the key to playing solid today,” Ko explained.

“I was so gutted that I wouldn’t be able to go, so she brought the restaurant to me pretty much.

“Shabu Shabu is like one of my favourite food, and I always enjoy eating at Shabu Shabu there. Yeah, I don’t think yesterday would be the last time for me.”

Ko had two birdies and an 11th hole eagle on the way to her round of 69 and she felt it was a solid round given the heat.

“I gave myself a lot of good looks for birdies, and I think that’s going to be the key, not only just at this event but especially at majors, I think the more opportunities you get, it makes it a slightly stress-free par.

“I felt like I left a few out there, but overall I feel like I’m hitting it pretty solid, and all you can do is just commit and hit a good shot or a confident shot, and what happens after that, that’s just a totally different result-wise.”

After her golfing meltdown at the Marathon Classic last month, Ko has continued to stay in contention every week and her confidence is building.

“I feel like the last few weeks have definitely helped with confidence, and I think when you see that, you start believing in yourself more,” she said.

“I think the more times you see yourself not going the way you think it would, you start losing a little bit of belief.

“I think you’ve just got to stay patient and just keep grinding and working on what you’re working on and just go from there. It’s such a tough game itself, so there’s no point in me putting more stress on it.

Her new coach Sean Foley has asked Lydia to grab inspiration from her winning ways when she was number one and winning majors when many people said that she was performing easily. Ko denies that was ever the case.

“You know, I feel like a lot of people said, oh, man, you played golf so easily, even during when I was world No. 1, but I was like, I never think this game is easy.

“They go, oh, that was a stress-free, whatever, round, and I’m like, man, there was no stress-free bit about that.

“I think this game keeps you pretty humble.

“There was no points where it was easy. Obviously sometimes things might have come like a lot quicker or easily than I expected, but I don’t think the process was ever easy, and I think that will be the same for the end of your career, and that’s not only the case in golf but in anything that you do.”

Ko will tee off in the second round at 8.18am NZT on Saturday morning and the coverage commences on Sky Sport 6 at 11am.

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