Mixed opening round for Lydia Ko in Hawaii

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 16:39 18/04/2013
Lydia Ko
Reuters
MONEY FOR NOTHING: Lydia Ko is the only amateur teeing it up at the LPGA Tour's Lotte Championship in Hawaii.

Relevant offers

Golf

Tiger Woods shoots his lowest round of year to soar into contention in Gainesville Double delight for Billy Hurley III as he makes cut and police locate his father Up-and-down round for Lydia Ko at Women's British Open Grant Waite tied for second after first round of Champions Tour event in Blaine Norquay: Is New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko worthy of being immortalised in tarseal? Ko Lane preserves Lydia's legacy US presidential candidate Donald Trump drops in to hog limelight at British Open New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko sets hot early pace at the Women's British Open New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox shoots 65 at Madeira Islands Open to lie third Kiwi teenager Lydia Ko excited ahead of golf's return to the Olympics in Rio

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko was upstaged by her playing partners and fellow teen stars in the first round of the LPGA Tour's Lotte Championship in Hawaii today.

Ko settled for a mixed one-under par round of 71 at the Ko Olina Golf Club, which put her in a share of 52nd after the opening round of the 72-hole professional event.

It was solid but certainly not spectacular, especially when compared to her two playing partners, who combined for 14-under par.

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, 17, went on a scoring spree, nailing seven birdies and an eagle in an eight-under par 64 that sees the rookie professional and former world No 2 amateur hold the outright lead by one shot over Norway's Suzann Pettersen and South Korean Hee Kyung Seo. 

Jutanugarn is looking to secure her second win of the year, having already won on the Ladies European Tour in her first few months as a professional.

The other teen in the trio, South Korean Hyo Joo Kim, fired a bogey-free six-under 66 to share fourth place, the 17-year-old displaying the talent that saw her win three professional events as an amateur last year, before turning pro and winning the China Open.

Ko, 15, who is in her eighth LPGA Tour event, and 17th professional tournament, looked set to enjoy a birdie barrage of her own when she got to three-under par through six holes. 

But she bogeyed the seventh and ninth holes, failing to get up and down after wayward approaches to turn in one-under.

The world No 25 immediately got one shot back at the 10th but after a succession of pars, she bogeyed the 18th for a 71. 

It was a below average day at the office for Ko, who only found six of 14 fairways, 12 of 18 greens, and made one of three sand saves.

Ko is the only amateur in the field for the $US1.7 million tournament, which features nine of the top 10 and 19 of the top 25 ranked players in the world. 

Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Special offers
Opinion poll

If she is able to, when do you expect Lydia Ko to win her first major?

Next year, she's so close

She's still working towards it, within three years

It may be longer than we think, within five years

The expectation might be too much, maybe never

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content