Lydia Ko (New Zealand-Hana Financial Group), an “invitee” to the tournament she won last year, fired back-to-back blasts. It was a chance to put the disappointment of a lackluster start to the year behind her with a second consecutive victory on home soil.
After the second round of the BMW Ladies Championship on the Women’s Professional Golf (LPGA) Tour at Seowon Valley CC Seowon Hills Course (Par 72-6468) in Paju on Tuesday, Ko carded six birdies and three bogeys to finish at 8-under par 136 and tied for fourth place. She is three shots off the lead with Lee Minjee (AUS) at 11-under 133. Lydia Ko, who improved on her first day (5-under 67), was pleased with her scorecard, telling The Korea Times after the tournament, “I don’t remember the last time I shot under par in both rounds one and two.”
“I was worried because it was windy and cold, but I was satisfied,” she smiled, “I took a lot of positives from the first day, so I came out for the second round with confidence and my shots went well.
For Lydia Ko, the BMW Ladies Championship has a special place in her heart. It was here in October last year that she won her first tournament in South Korea. Lydia Ko, who came from seven shots down in the final round to win, said: “I’ve always been proud of where I was born and the Korean blood in my veins. I won in front of my family and fans, and it was the most meaningful victory of my life as a golfer.” Shortly after the tournament, Lydia Ko became the world No. 1 in women’s golf for the first time in five years and five months. In December of the same year, she became a “new bride” when she married Mr. Chung, the son of Hyundai Card Vice Chairman Chung Tae-young. It was a series of ups and downs.
In February, she won the European Ladies European Tour (LET) Aramco Saudi Ladies International and tied for sixth at the Honda LPGA Thailand, her first event on the LPGA Tour. Since March, however, she hasn’t had much luck. She hasn’t had a top-10 finish in 16 LPGA Tour events. Her game has fluctuated greatly. Her driver distance (255.34 yards vs. 252 yards), greens in regulation (72.88% vs. 63.28%), and most other metrics were lower than last year.
Lydia Ko almost missed the BMW Ladies Championship, the “defending championship,” due to her poor performance. In the CME Globe Points Ranking, which ranks each tournament of the LPGA Tour season, Lydia Ko is 101st (as of the 20th). Due to the tournament rules, which allow the top 68 players in the field (or next in line if there are no entries) to compete, Lydia Ko was unable to qualify for the BMW Women’s Championship on her own, but was graciously invited by the tournament organizers.
Perhaps playing with fond memories in mind, Lydia Ko was the defending champion from the first round. After missing the green just once in round one, she continued her good form in round two, hitting 100% of her shots in the fairway and 77.8% (14/18) of her shots on the green. The cooler weather in round two didn’t stop Lydia Ko from feeling hot.먹튀검증
Despite playing as an invitee, Lydia Ko said, “I think it gave me a chance to play with less pressure.” “Being the ‘defending champion’ puts a lot of pressure on you to defend your title, but that wasn’t the case at all this time. I was able to play more relaxed. I had fun playing with (the late) Jin-young’s sister, Nelly Korda, who I played with in the first round, and the fans were very supportive.” Sitting atop the leaderboard and in position to win her second straight title, Lydia Ko said, “I’m going to take the good momentum from the first two days and go for the last three or four rounds. I’m not going to get too excited. I’m going to rely on the confidence I had in rounds one and two and have fun the rest of the way,” she said. “I’m here on a sponsor’s invitation, so I’m going to enjoy myself as much as I can, and I’m hoping to learn a lot from this tournament and take some good momentum into the rest of the season.”
Ashley Buhai (SOUTH AFR), who dropped 10 strokes on day one, dropped a stroke in round two to slip to third place (9-under 135). Meanwhile, Australian compatriot Lee Min-ji Lee dropped three strokes in round two to move into sole possession of the lead.