Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Golf: Ko makes solid start at British Open

Lydia Ko. Photo / AP
Lydia Ko. Photo / AP

With Royal Birkdale playing tough, Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko will have been happy to sign for an even-par 72 during the opening round of the Women's British Open.

The 17-year-old looked as though she might make a charge to the top of the standings today after two early birdies but bogeys at the seventh and 10th holes saw her slip back to even par; she then went up and down again with a birdie at 16 and a bogey to finish.

The North Shore product is in a share of 10th place, with 13 other players, four strokes back from leader Ayako Uehara (-4).

Uehara, the world No 125, started with a bogey at the par-four first but made five birdies after that as she took a one-shot lead over American Mo Martin (-3), while three other players are in a share of third at two-under.

World No 1 Stacy Lewis is one of four players in a share of sixth at one-under and the American experienced a mixed round with three bogeys and four birdies.

Ko, the world No 2, knew accuracy would be crucial in Southport and the challenging scoring conditions added to the task.

"The course is not easy, the fairways are very tight," Ko told the Herald. "There are bunkers that come in to play on every tee shot."

Ko, who has used a range of caddies this year, has veteran looper Greg Johnston on the bag this week."

"I've been working with Greg Johnston since the Walmart NW Arkansas tournament [two weeks ago] and it's turning out to be a good team."

The other Kiwi in the field, Cathryn Bristow, had a round to forget as she shot a 13-over 85 to hold a share of 142nd place in the 144-player field.


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