Friday, September 30, 2022

No. 1 Jin Young Ko returns from LA meltdown, hits back-to-back 64 at Palos Verdes

Jin Young Ko recorded the first quadruple-eight of his LPGA career at Wilshire Country Club last Saturday and then scored a 75 at the DIO Implant LA Open on Sunday. She crashed out of the top 20 by a portion of the lead in shocking fashion.

But it’s a new week, and when the world No. 1 entered the ninth place in Palos Verdes on Thursday, it was looking like vintage. Six consecutive birdies at No. 2-7 gave him a 7-under 64 start at the inaugural Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America. He is one shot away from leader Minjie Lee’s pace.

“Before we start today’s round, let me just remind you that golf is golf,” Ko said. “Don’t think about the last week. Start again, new routine. Get into the routine slowly, and don’t think about the future. … just feel my body and feel my mind and just enjoy Take.”

Charlie Hull, Morea Jutanugarn and Jennifer Chang scored 65 runs.

This is the second consecutive week for the LPGA in the Los Angeles area. Lee said she took Monday off and didn’t show up on the course. He played nine holes on Tuesday and watched the rest of the course in Wednesday’s Pro-Am. Because the site is so mountainous, Lee said it was important to keep his feet fresh.

Even though Palos Verdes is a new place for Australians, it felt somewhat at home.

“My golf club back home, it’s the same type of fairway,” she said. “I don’t think we play a course with the same type of grass all year round, so it was a nice surprise when I came here.”

No. 1 Jin Young Ko returns from LA meltdown, hits back-to-back 64 at Palos Verdes

Jin Young Ko of South Korea reacts after his put on the 11th green during the first round of the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America at Palos Verdes Golf Club on April 28, 2022 in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

A new kind of challenge also suited Ko, who wanted to quickly turn the page on last week’s disaster.

“This week is very different from last week,” Ko said. “This week is shorter than last week. The greens are really, really this small, and we have to concentrate. The max for the put is the same as 20 feet in the middle of the green.

“So, yeah, it’s kind of fun, this course. I’m enjoying it.”

Alben Valenzuela lost the Pac-12 Championship in the playoffs in Palos Verdes and has fond memories of playing the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge each year at Stanford. The 24-year-old started with 66 runs, which was his best run of the season.

“I think I shot 5 under even as an amateur,” Valenzuela said. “I think that’s really feeding off the momentum that I had in college, all those good memories. I’m hanging out this week with one of my best friends, one of my college roommates. , so all the good vibes always help.”

Last season, Valenzuela said he hit it terrible and scrambled to make pars to keep his card. However, this season his ball strike has been strong for some time now.

“It’s a different way of playing golf,” she said. “Now I’m finding the fairway, hitting a lot of greens and just hitting it well. I feel like I’m very calm, and I just rely on my game and really only do that.” Which I know how to do.”

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