By Michael Donaldson
The question of whether Lydia Ko's season has turned a late corner will be answered this weekend in France when she contests the fifth and final major of the season, the Evian Championship.
Ko, the world No 8, has long been a fan of the Evian-Les-Bains layout, finishing second there as an amateur four years ago, before claiming her first major title with a stunning final round 63 in 2015.
"The place I won my first major, it's always going to be special," she said last week.
She also finished eighth in 2014 and her only poor showing at the venue was her 43rd placing last year when her game was already starting to crumble as she prepared to jettison her coach David Leadbetter, caddie Jason Hamilton and club manufacturer, Callaway.
Despite an inconsistent 2017 in which she's twice finished runner-up, had a scattering of top-10s and missed three cuts, Ko comes to the final major with yet another milestone under her belt in a remarkable career: she's the fastest player to accrue US$8m on the LPGA Tour.
In her 93rd start as a professional and with the US$186,096 runner-up prize last week, Ko beat the previous mark held by Yani Tseng, who crossed that threshold in her 98th event.
The comparison with Tseng would not be lost on Ko.
Tseng won five major championships and also had Hamilton as a caddie before her game disintegrated and she plummeted from sight in women's golf.
At her best, Tseng was also coach by Gary Gilchrist, Ko's current coach.
The question for Ko fans is whether the 20-year-old Kiwi can avoid what happened to Tseng, turn her game around completely and add to the two major championships to her name.
In Ko's favour was the fact that her ball-striking was rock-solid when she finished runner-up to Lexi Thompson in Indianapolis last week.
It was her putting that let her down with Ko noting she took 85 putts over the three rounds to Thompson's 77, with the winning margin being four shots.
Putting will once again be a key factor on the large, undulating greens at Evian-Les-Bains.
The greens can also be problematic due to weather, with rain softening them and making them lumpy.
One thing helping Ko is the fact that three of her main rivals will not be teeing it up this week.
Michelle Wie is recovering from having her appendix removed, Inbee Park has a bad back and Stacy Lewis had already decided to skip the year's final major.
After the Evian Championship, Ko will be heading home to New Zealand to play in the New Zealand Open at Windross Farm.
Ko tees off at 6.29pm tomorrow night (New Zealand time) in a group containing Canada's Brooke Henderson and South Korea's In-Kyung Kim.