Golf really is so lucky to have the likes of Lydia Ko as one of its leading lights. She had been up at an unearthly hour for a 6.45am tee time and had just completed one of the worst rounds of her career, yet the 20-year-old was still happy to stop and chat before leaving Dundonald Links earlier than expected.
After rounds of 74 and 79 for a nine-over-par total, the world No 4 was by far the biggest casualty at the halfway stage in the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open after being blown away on her second visit to the Ayshire venue, having finished fourth in the same event two years ago before going on to claim third spot the following week in the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry. Ko, of course, would have preferred to have been getting two more competitive rounds of links golf under her belt this weekend, but, on the other hand, she now has an extra couple of days to get to know a new venue in Kingsbarns, where the fourth women’s major of the season is being held for the first time next week.
“I think this is some of the windiest conditions I’ve played in and it blew way stronger than this when we teed off,” said Ko, pictured, who really struggled to keep her putter in particular steady. “Normally, when I played the British Opens, or even here a couple years ago, there was rain and that kind of softens up everything and makes it a touch easier. But I think today was probably one of the most difficult rounds I’ve played in my career, both physically and mentally.”
Only once – in the final round of the British Open at Birkdale in 2014, when she had an 80 – has Ko signed for a worse score in her LPGA career, but she certainly isn’t heading across to Fife to prepare for her next test in downbeat mood.
“When you’re playing the Scottish or the British Open, conditions like this are something that you have to take account of, and I think there’s a lot to learn from this week,” she added. “I was driving it really well and hopefully I can bring that into next week.”