Lydia Ko getting close to her best as she chases first win of the year

Lydia Ko has gone 18 tournaments without a win but says her game is not far off.
GETTY IMAGES

Lydia Ko has gone 18 tournaments without a win but says her game is not far off.

So far this season there have been 10 different winners in 10 tournaments on the LPGA Tour.

Kiwi Lydia Ko is intent on becoming the 11th at this week's Kingsmill Championship in Virginia, which begins on Thursday (Friday NZ time).

The good news is the world No 1 believes she is close to getting back to her best.

South Korea's So Yeon Ryu can take over the top spot on the world rankings with a good result.
GETTY IMAGES

South Korea's So Yeon Ryu can take over the top spot on the world rankings with a good result.

"At the end of the day, I don't feel like it's way off," she told a press conference on Wednesday (Thursday NZT).

READ MORE:
* Double challenge for Ko
Kim becomes youngest Players winner
Spanish golfer's Players albatross
Danny gets his girl

"It's just a few putts, that are sliding by, for them to drop, and a few more fairways hit. It's very small, but at the end of week they end up being a big difference, between a top-10 finish or being in contention, or being outside of the top 10."

Ko needs to find form quickly as her lead at the top of the world rankings has shrunk to the smallest of her 82-week reign, with So Yeon Ryu and Ariya Jutanugarn within .249 points of the No 1 spot.

While there are a number of possible scenarios, Ryu will take the top spot if she finishes in the top three ahead of Ko and Jutanugarn can take it with a win or a significantly better finish than Ko or Ryu.

Not that Ko is worrying about the fact that any one of the trio could hold the top spot by tournament's end.

"I don't really look at the rankings myself," the 20-year-old said. "I don't go in my spare time and look, `Hey, what position am I in?' I kind of know these things through media and when people tell me, `Hey it's getting close. It could change this week.'

Ad Feedback

"It's been a huge honour to be in this position. It's always been a dream of mine to be the No 1-ranked player. For it to have happened so early, it's something I'm very fortunate about."

Ko is enduring the longest winless streak of her career, having gone 18 tournaments since her last win in July last year.

She puts the number of different winners this year down to the fact that the fields are so deep.

"The amount of talent on tour is huge," she said. "You can see that through, obviously, all our winners this year, and when you see, at the end the year, the first-time winners, eight, nine new winners, you go, `Wow, it's not just about three players. It's not just about the big three. It's about the whole tour.'

"I think that's great for the game. It's a lot of players from different countries, from the United States, Canada, Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand. It gets a lot of people into the game."

While Ko hasn't hit the high standards of previous years, with at least three wins in each of her three full seasons on tour, she has had five top 10s and a runner-up finish last month in Hawaii. 

"The weeks that I've had top 10s, I've hit the ball really well but I was struggling on the greens," she said. "But then in Hawaii, I was able to get a few putts to go in on the weekend. I think that was a huge difference for me getting the best results I had since my last win at the Marathon Classic."

Ko is paired with Cristie Kerr and Brooke Henderson for the first round and will tee off at 5.17am (NZT).

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback