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Ko starts strongly in Canadian Open quest

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/08/2016

Lydia Ko, seeking her fourth Canadian Women's Open title before the age of 20, made a promising start when she carded a five-under-par 67 in the first round in Alberta on Thursday.

The Korean-born Kiwi, four days after her silver medal-winning performance for New Zealand at the Rio Olympics, wasted no time getting back into the bread-and-butter swing of regular LPGA competition.

The defending champion completed her round in style by sinking a tricky five-foot par putt at the scenic Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club in Calgary.

Ko made the Canadian Women's Open her first LPGA victory when she triumphed in 2012 at the age of 15. She added further wins at the tournament in 2013 and again last year.

"The course and the environment really remind me of New Zealand," world number one Ko, 19, told Golf Channel after a round that included six birdies and one bogey.

She conceded it was a challenge to stay mentally sharp after the enjoyable but draining experience in Rio, where she finished five strokes behind golf medallist Park In-bee as golf returned to the Olympics for the first time in more than a century.

"The Olympics was surreal, a week like I've never experienced before," Ko said.

"Coming into a big week where I'm also defending, it is tough because you're coming in with so much adrenaline and because I've played well a little bit more added pressure, but I love being here."

Ko was one stroke behind English leader Stephanie Meadow with half the field back in the clubhouse.


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