Lydia Ko completes 1st women's major round

BEN STANLEY IN PALM SPRINGS
Last updated 08:47 04/04/2014
Lydia Ko
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SITTING EVEN: Lydia Ko birdied the 18th hole, her ninth of the first round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship, women's golf's first major.

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Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko has labelled her first round as a professional in an LPGA major as "even and consistent".

The teenager carded a one-over 73 on the first day of competition at the Kraft Nabisco Championship near Palm Springs, California today.

After scoring even-par on her first nine holes, the Mission Hills Country Club's back nine, Ko shot one-over on the way back to the clubhouse to complete her round.

The 16-year-old's best hole was a stunning birdie on her ninth - the tricky 18th hole - but let herself down with a bogey on the 16th, and a double-bogey on the 1st.

She clawed her way back with a birdie on the 7th, before paring the final two holes to close out.

Ko, the world number four, made 11 out of 18 greens in regulation, meaning her chipping game was tested, but stayed strong.

Despite struggling from the tee, Ko was largely satisfied with her efforts today.

"It wasn't too bad," she told Fairfax Media.

"I wasn't really hitting my driver that well, so at the start of the holes I wasn't setting myself up in good positions.

"You're not going to have many opportunities to make birdie.

"I made one double [bogie] today, and that was probably the worst hole. But without that, it was a pretty even and consistent round."

Ko sat in a tie for 19th at 9am today, with China's Shanshan Feng leading after scoring a six-under 66.

World No 1, Korean Inbee Park, scored a two-over 74, sitting one shot behind Ko.

Ko's playing partner, Ai Miyazato of Japan, scored a five-over 77. The duo will play together again tomorrow, teeing off from the first hole at 8.50am (NZ time).

If Ko is able to claim the Kraft Nabisco title this week, she will become the youngest major winner in golf history, beating the 146-year-old record of Scotland's Young Tom Morris. Morris won the 1868 British Open, aged 17, beating his father - Old Tom - in the process.

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- Fairfax Media

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