Ko blown off course at windy Hainan

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

World num­ber one Ly­dia Ko en­dured one of the worst rounds of her fledg­ling ca­reer yes­ter­day as the New Zealand teenager limped to a five-over-par 77 dur­ing the first round of the Blue Bay LPGA Tour event in China.

The 18-year-old’s strug­gles on the lengthy Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course with its iconic un­du­lat­ing greens left Ko 10 shots off the early pace set by China’s Lin Xi Yu, who cruised to a bo­gey-free five-un­der 67.

“I think to­day is pretty good round for me,” Lin said.

“Ac­tu­ally when I played in the prac­tice round, I thought, this place is pretty tough, and also I’m pretty sur­prised what I’m do­ing to­day. So I’m re­ally sat­is­fied with my game to­day.”

The $2 mil­lion event is the penul­ti­mate leg of the LPGA Tour’s five tour­na­ment Asian swing which has seen Ko re­take the top spot in the world rank­ings from South Korea’s Park In-bee af­ter two top five fin­ishes and a win in Tai­wan last week.

Fol­low­ing her ni­neshot win in Tai­wan, Ko did not ar­rive in China un­til Wed­nes­day which could have been a fac­tor in her slug­gish start fol­low­ing an open­ing par.

Ko went dou­ble bo­gey, bo­gey, bo­gey, bo­gey from the sec­ond with an­other two dropped shots on the 11th and 12th leav­ing her at seven-over.

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