KO SHOOTS 61, NEW COURSE RECORD

28/02/2015

As she walked past the scoreboard on 13, Lydia Ko had a brief thought she could shoot 59. At that stage she was 10 under after a bogey, eagle and nine birdies during the second round of the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open at Clearwater today.


In the end she signed for a 61, a new course record and her best ever round. Ironically the course record was set last year by Korean Mi Hyang Lee, whose last round 63 was enough to defeat Ko by one stroke.

“I didn’t know what I was shooting but when I went past the scoreboard on 13, I thought, oh, 59, that is the magical number but I’m pretty happy with 61,” she said.

Ko didn’t start well with a bogey on the first, but an eagle three on the second was the catalyst.

“After the first I was pretty angry. I got into the rough and it was pretty tough for the pin location. I left it short and that really made me angry as I did that yesterday and was not going to do it again today.

“The greens were much better today and rolling better and after that eagle I just got myself into the right position.

“I hit is much closer today so I had more opportunities for birdies. I had the speed much better and when you take that off I really only had to concentrate on my line.”

Ko’s round probably surprised herself .

“I wasn’t hitting it very well out there on the range so I thought, just forget about, let’s just relax. I didn’t have a very good night’s sleep either and I really love my sleep.

“Nothing was really going the way I wanted it to. I got the eagle and a really great birdie on four. As I said, I hit it a lot closer today which gave a lot more opportunities rather than fighting to make par.”
At one stage Ko had 11 birdies in a 12-hole stretch.

“Probably the closest I have come to repeating this is when I was playing the Australian Open at Royal Canberra where on the first nine I made no pars. I had two bogeys, one eagle and the rest birdies,” she said.

Ko (131) leads by three from Charley Hull (England) 134 and Giulia Sergas (Italy) 135.

Lydia Ko transcript – Saturday after 61

Q: Different day, different story.
A: I started off not on the right pace but came off with a great eagle on two and things just kept going on a roll from there.

Q: Was 59 in the back of your mind?
A: It was when I was going past the scorebaord on 13. I didn’t know what I was shooting and then I thought, oh, 59, that is the magical number but I’m pretty happy with 61.

Q: Is that your lowest?
A: I think so, I shot 10 under at the Australian Open a couple of years ago.

Q: After a bogey at the first did you think this was where you were going to end up?
A: After the first I was pretty angry. I got into the rough and it was pretty tough for the pin location. I left it short and that really made me angry as I did that yesterday and was not going to do it again today. The greens were much better today and rolling better and after that eagle I just got myself into the right position.

Q: Did anything feel any different out there today compared with yesterday?
A: I wasn’t hitting it very well out there on the range so I thought, just forget about, let’s just relax. I didn’t have a very good night’s sleep and I really love my sleep. Nothing was really going the way I wanted it to. I got a really got birdie on four and hit it a lot closer today which gave a lot more opportunities rather than fighting to make par.

Q: There was a stretch of 12 holes where you were 11 under, has that ever happened to you before, even in practice?
A: Probably the closest when I was playing th Australian Open at Royal Canberra where on the first nine I made no pars. I had two bogeys, one eagle and the rest birdies. That would be the closest.

Q: Does it help when you are playing alongside someone like Charley Hull who is shooting the lights out of it. Does that spur you along?
A: Charley, Sue and I all played great. Charley started with a couple of birdies and I knew that we had a real strong group and we could make a lot of birdies. In fact there were a couple of holes where we all three made birdies.

Q: Was there any stage out there when you wanted to give it the whoop whoop?
A: I only gave it one fist pump out there and I didn’t even know it was going to go in. It was really great. We were all playing well and we were playing a bit faster. During the middle of round yesterday we were getting a bit behind the group in front and we had to play a bit quicker but today it was just fine.

Q: Did you feed off the energy of that gallery, it was massive?
A: It was building up as the round went on. We started with a good group and it grew from there. It was great when all the crowds are celebrating with you when you make a good putt.

Q: Did you feel you could really attack the pins out there?
A: Some holes like two yesterday - a hybrid and today a five wood so it can feel longer but with pins behind bunkers you could actually go for them as the wind is not behind you.

Q: In setting a new course record, will you get another tattoo to celebrate?
A: No. I already have a couple of course records like back at Muruwai and I haven’t done that yet. My mum won’t let me.

Q: Talk me through your wrist and the problems you have been having and the heavy strapping?
A: It is not the same problem. I hardly have a ganglion any more. It is much better. I had treatment in the off season and I didn’t need to go for surgery. Surgery was the last thing I wanted to do. It is just down at the base of my thumb. I have been putting too pressure on it with my right hand so it has strained it. I have put a lot of strain on it so it has hyper-extended. There is a lot of strapping but it is really only down at the bottom of my thumb. It’s fine.

Q: You should be able to play well when you are fully fit?
A: Yeah (laughing). It can be funny. You can play well when you have a sore wrist and the you don’t necessarily play all that well when you are fully fit. Injuries you obviously don’t want but this has not been causing me any troubles.

Q: How important is it for you to live up to all the hype that has been around this tournament and you personally?
A: It’s great when you walk around and you see the “Go Ko” tee shirts. I even bought one myself but I couldn’t wear one…. That would be really weird. It’s great to see how many people are here. It’s a great field and to be centred around me is an honour, expecially when you have players like Laura Davies here.

Q: Tell us about your putting today. Did you see the line better, did you feel the ball better?
A: I hit is much closer today so I had more opportunities for birdies. I had the speed much better and when you take that off I really only had to concentrate on my line.

Q: You had a great putt on four?
A: I kind of had a cheat putt as Su had one just before me. I thought it was going to be downhill but in fact it was slightly uphill so that is what I learned from that. It got me off to a good start.

Q: Did you have a wee number in your head today before you started?
A: Five under. Yeah, I thought that would be a good round … and I doubled it!


Further information: John Durning | Media Manager
M: 0274-373-286 | DDI: (03) 359 3671 |
 

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