Golf: Ko starts well at LPGA Championship

By Daniel Richardson

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

Lydia Ko fought her way through an up-and-down opening round at the LPGA Championship which started and ended well with a few bumps in the middle.

Beginning on the 10th tee at the Monroe Golf Club in New York today, the 17-year-old Kiwi made three birdies in her first seven holes but suffered a bogey at the 18th as she made the turn at two-under.

There was a birdie for her at the par-five third hole but she dropped shots at the fourth and sixth holes, although she pulled one back at the par-five ninth as she eventually signed for a two-under 70 to be in a share of 16th place.

Ko, who is searching for her maiden major title and the world No 1 ranking, is four shots back from co-leaders Lexi Thompson and Meena Lee (six-under), while there are a trio of players in a tie for third at five-under.

Meanwhile, Danny Lee fired a disappointing three-over 73 during the opening round of the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina on the PGA Tour.

Lee made six bogeys and three birdies as he slipped to a share of 136th place and he will need to turn it around tomorrow if he wants to make the cut.

Camilo Villegas has the lead at seven-under, while Webb Simpson and William McGirt are in a share of second place at six-under.

Lee came in to the tournament in 109th place on the FedEx Cup standings but could drop to as low as 116th if he was to miss the cut. The top 125 players in the rankings retain their PGA Tour card for next season and there are four tournaments left in the 2013-2014 schedule.

Manawatu's Tim Wilkinson, who is in 107th place on the FedEx Cup standings, opted not to play this week's tournament, while Steven Alker has taken a week off on the second-tier Web.com Tour and skipped the News Sentinel Open in Knoxville.

Alker, who is in 11th place on the Web.com Tour's order of merit, is all but assured of a return to the PGA Tour for next season.

- NZ Herald

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