Jin Young Ko’s attempt to set a new record for consecutive rounds in the 60s came to an end in Korea on Thursday, but the local hope was proud of her opening efforts at the BMW Ladies Championship.
Ko entered the week as the form player on the premier women’s circuit having won three times since July and equalling the joint record of Annika Sorenstam and So Yeon Ryu for rounds in the 60s of 14. An opening one-under 71 meaning she owns a share of the record mark.
“It was raining. It was cold. So it was a tough round. But I have to say I did my best,” Ko said. “And maybe I think I didn't do well, as much as I had expected, because when you play in Korea, there's that extra bit in you that wants to do a little bit better, and there's that extra bit of pressure as well.
“But I have to say I really did my best today, and I think I wrapped up the round nicely with a birdie.”
Ko lies seven shots back of compatriot Na Rin An, who recorded nine birdies and a lone bogey at the par-4 18th to sit at eight-under, one shot in front of two more Koreans In Gee Chun and Ju Young Park. Meanwhile, Australia’s most recent major winner Minjee Lee posted an opening five-under 67 for a share of seventh, with fellow West Australian Hannah Green a short further back.
A two-time winner on the KLPGA Tour, An is entered to play the LPGA’s qualifying school to earn a card for the circuit, something that would be unnecessary should she continue her good early form at LPGA International Busan.
“I applied for LPGA Q-School this winter, and I hope to do well there. And actually I started golf because I wanted to play on the LPGA Tour,” An said after the round.
“I think overall today, even with my missed shots, I was able to make a nice recovery. And overall I was extremely satisfied with my putting. I think the putting went really well today, and that was behind my strong round.”