Golf: Lydia Ko makes 'really clumsy' start in Malaysia

Lydia Ko of New Zealand follows her shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the LPGA golf tournament at Tournament Players Club. Photo / AP
Lydia Ko of New Zealand follows her shot on the seventh hole during the first round of the LPGA golf tournament at Tournament Players Club. Photo / AP

Lydia Ko's form slump shows no sign of abating, struggling to an even par opening round in her latest LPGA Tour event in Malaysia.

Ko is eight shots off the leader Korean Amy Yang in a tie for 30th. Yang fired an opening round 63.

The world number one was playing her first event since parting ways with caddie Jason Hamilton, who is now carrying the bag for Ha Na Jang. The South Korean opened with a two-under 69.

The 19-year-old fired Hamilton last week, the Australian who caddied for her since late 2014, and is using Malaysia's Sargunan Suntharaj this week.

Ko birdied the par-5 18th for a 71. She had a double bogey on the par-4 second.

"Really clumsy double," Ko said. "I hit a great drive and then I just leaked a shot in the water.

The rest of the day I was just trying to fight back and put myself in position under par. And I got back into good position and I hit it in the water again. So, that wasn't good. But obviously to finish up the round with a birdie on 18 was good. To bring it back to even, I think it could have been much worse."

Second-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn, grouped with Ko and fifth-ranked Brooke Henderson, had a 68. The 20-year-old Thai star has a tour-high five victories and leads the money list and the Race to CME Globe and player of the year standings. She was third Sunday in China.

- Radio Sport

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 20 Jan 2017 13:58:40 Processing Time: 266ms