Golf: Slow start to 2017 for Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko of New Zealand chats with her caddie Gary Matthews. Photo / Getty
Lydia Ko of New Zealand chats with her caddie Gary Matthews. Photo / Getty

Lydia Ko's fresh start in 2017 isn't quite going according to plan, with the world No 1 set to finish well off the pace in her first tournament of the season.

Ko today shot an even-par 73 on the third day of the Australian Open in Adelaide, unable to make up much ground after barely avoiding the cut during a disappointing second round.

Sitting even for the tournament in a share of 35th and 10 strokes behind leader Lizette Salas, Ko will need a miracle tomorrow to continue an impressive run of results at the event, having claimed the title two years ago before finishing runner-up in 2016.

Ko was in the second group out on day three and played in windy and unseasonably cool conditions, mixing two birdies and two bogeys while struggling on the greens for a third straight round.

"It was breezy at six in the morning when I first came out and it was a lot cooler than the other days, so I think I was playing a couple yards for the temperature," Ko said.

"It wasn't easy - I didn't hit my drives very well compared to the past two days. I felt like I putted well and my stroke was good, but not many putts went in. So hopefully I'm just saving it up for [today]."

Having changed her coach, caddie and clubs in the off-season, Ko would have been hoping to arrest a brief form slide at the back end of 2016. But after beginning her year with a two-under 71, the 19-year-old flirted with disaster while shooting a two-over 75 and finishing one shot inside the cut line on Friday.

Her third round meant all the alterations were unlikely to result in instant success, but Ko said there hadn't been a difficult adjustment period with her new clubs.

"It hasn't actually taken a long time for me to get used to them. Straight away I had a rough idea of how far it was going and the flight itself. So I've been loving the clubs. It's a great change and it's been exciting times. It's something I can trust, even though it's only my first tournament using them."

- NZ Herald

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