Horrific start for Lydia Ko at women's US Open

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 11:54 20/06/2014
TOUGH START: Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko plays off the 15th tee as her caddie Mike 'Fluff' Cowan watches onduring the first round of the US Women's Open.
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TOUGH START: Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko plays off the 15th tee as her caddie Mike 'Fluff' Cowan watches onduring the first round of the US Women's Open.

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Lydia Ko's bid to become the youngest major winner in both the men's and women's game got off to a horrific start as her approach play let her down.

The 17-year-old world No 3 shot an opening round six-over 78 at the US Open this morning and at the completion of her round was languishing in a tie for 77th.

Ko dropped a shot on her first and fourth holes on the difficult and dry Pinehurst No 2 course, but turned at even par after grabbing back shots on both the front nine's par threes.

She struggled on the back nine, recording three further bogeys and a triple as she paid the price for missing Pinehurst's turtleback greens.

While she was able to get up and down a number of times, her short game still let her down as the talented teen sent chip shots from one side of the green to the other.

Ko hit just six fairways in regulation on day one and never gave herself enough chances to make birdies.

World No 1 Stacy Lewis shot a three-under par 67 early and sat atop the leaderboard most of the day.  She had a one shot lead over Michelle Wie and only five players were under par on day one.

The field's youngest player, 11-year-old American qualifier Lucy Li shot an eight-over 78 after starting with a double bogey seven, while the up and down round of the day went to another American Marissa Chow.

Chow rushed to the top of the leaderboard after picking up shots on four of the first six holes, but her round fell apart around the turn.  On the eighth, ninth and 10th holes, Chow attempted to chip the ball on to the green only to have it roll back to near when she played it. Three times in a row it happened and she made double bogeys on all three holes.

The early cut line looks like it could be as high as 10-over par so there is still hope for Ko to continue her impressive record of never missing a cut in a professional tournament.

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