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'Rusty' Ko four off the lead

Sky Sports Sky Sports 4/02/2016


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World No 1 Lydia Ko admitted to feeling 'pretty rusty' after making a slow start to her first appearance of the season at the opening round of the Coates Golf Championship. 

The teenager reached the turn over par at the Golden Ocala golf course, but went on to fire four birdies along the back nine to post a three-under 69 and sit four strokes behind first round pacesetter Ha Na Jang.

Making her first appearance of the season having stormed to Race to the CME Globe victory in 2015, Ko carded an early blemish at the par-four third but picked up three gains in a five-hole stretch from the 10th, before closing with a birdie at the par-5 last.

"I was pretty rusty the front nine," the 18-year-old told Golf Channel. "I just wasn't able to hit many shots close and the ones I did hit good were above the hole.

"It seemed like I was hitting [approach shots] a couple of yards further so on the back nine I tried to control it a little bit and go almost half a club less.

"But it's a pretty good start to the tournament and the back nine was definitely much better, I gave myself good looks for birdies."

Ko is joined by USA Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster and play Lexi Thompson as part of a 10-strong group tied for eighth, with England's Charley Hull one of the players lying a further stroke back.

Jang, who finished in a tie for second in last year's event, closed a bogey-free 65 with an 18-foot gain at the last to set the pace at the top of the leaderboard.

US Women's Open champion In Gee Chun is one of six players tied for second, with defending champion Sei Young Kim also opening with a four-under 68.

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