Lydia Ko strides into final major of the year in fine form
Lydia Ko heads into the final major of the year on the back of a welcome return to form.
The 20-year-old tees off at the Evian Championship, starting on Thursday night (NZ time) in Evian-Les-Bains, France, having finished second at the Indy Women in Tech Championship last weekend.
That was her first top-three finish on the LPGA Tour this year and came after she took a weekend off following missing the cut at the Canadian Open - her third missed cut of the year which has seen her world ranking drop to No 8.
But the Evian Resort Golf Club holds fond memories for Ko - it was where she won the first of her two majors in 2015.
She finished second as an amateur in 2013 and eighth after turning pro in 2014. Her lone poor result was last year when finishing in a tie for 43rd at two-over.
Ko will want to maintain her form ahead of her homecoming at the New Zealand Women's Open, which makes its debut on the LPGA Tour at Windross Farm Golf Club in Auckland from September 28.
Last week, she spoke of how she was looking forward to this run of tournaments.
"I think this is the most interesting and fun stretch of weeks for me. Playing at the Evian Championship, which is the place I won my first major, it's always going to be a special part no matter if I play well or not that week.
"Then to be able to go back to New Zealand, see some of my friends and play the national open, it's a cool feeling and now it's an LPGA event a lot of people will come out and watch."
Ko tees off at 6.29pm on Thursday (NZ time) in a group containing Canada's Brooke Henderson and South Korea's In-Kyung Kim.
She has been pushed out to $21 by the bookies, which seems good value considering her recent form reversal and previous form on the course.
She also created history last weekend when she became the fastest player in LPGA history to pass US$8 million (NZ$11m) in career earnings. She passed the mark in her 93rd event, beating the previous record of 98 events, set by Yani Tseng.
AT A GLANCE
What: Evian Championship
Where and when: Evian Resort Golf Club, Evian-Les-Bains, France, from Thursday 6pm (NZ time)
TV: Sky Sport Pop-Up from 9pm
Odds: Lexi Thompson $9, Sung Hyun Park $9, In Gee Chun $13, Shanshan Feng $13, So Yeon Ryu $15, Lydia Ko $21
Ko's tee time: 6.29pm
Ko's 2017 major results: ANA Inspiration t-11, Women's PGA Championship t-59, U.S. Women's Open t-33, Women's British Open t-59