Golf: Ko in contention at even par

It's often easy to forget Lydia Ko is just 15 years old after she once again demonstrated why she has the potential to be one of the world's top women golfers in her opening round of the British Open at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club overnight.

The world's No 1 amateur shot an even par 72 to be in a share of 12th, two shots behind South Korean leaders Haeji Kang and So Yeon Ryu.

There had been considerable attention on Ko in the leadup to her second major after she won the Canadian Open, and she once again handled the big occasion well and outscored many of the best golfers in the world.

Ko carded five birdies and five bogeys in the difficult and blustery conditions and, while she didn't match her goal of two under, she's well poised in the tournament. She is the leading amateur and in contention for her first major championship win.

"One of my other goals was to not go in any of the fairway bunkers and I went in one fairway bunker which cost me a shot," she said. "I shot even so not too bad. The leading score is only two under anyway so that shows that it is very tough out there.

"Today I think my tee shots were pretty good and I think that was one of the ideal parts because it is quite narrow here and everything else was pretty good. I just need a little bit more speed control [on the greens] and I think I'll be all good tomorrow."

Ko could have been sitting even higher. She made back-to-back bogeys late in her round when she was put on the clock for slow play - something she was surprised about.

"I seem to be, well our group seems to be, getting put on the clock for pretty much every tournament," she said. "I don't know why. Maybe it's me or something. But it was okay. I think I've kind of got used to it.

"The groups behind me, some of them were like a similar speed to us but then we were at the front of the whole group."

Ko is well known for working hard and soon after signing for her card went with coach Guy Wilson to the short game practice area to work on her putting and chipping. She tees off in her second round at 10.40pm tonight and has a similar plan to stay in touch with the leaders.

"The goal is two under again for tomorrow. If it's windy and rainy then I'll be happy with even par."

- APNZ

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