Lydia Ko Shoots Lowest Opening Round In Nine Years - Here's How She Did It

Lydia Ko opens up a two shot lead from Danielle Kang in the first round of the 2022 Gainbridge LPGA

Lydia Ko 2022 Gainbridge
(Image credit: Getty Images)

16-time LPGA Tour winner, Lydia Ko, fired an opening round 63 and sits two shots clear at the top of the leaderboard. The round also marked Ko’s 15th bogey-free round in the last two seasons, three more than any other player in that time.

Ko, who finished second in the tournament last year, began with four birdies in the first six holes. Her nine-under 63 is also her best opening round on the LPGA Tour since the 2013 Australian Open, where the then 15-year old amateur opened with a ten-under par 63 on her way to a third place finish.

Speaking immediately after the round, Ko said, “I didn’t have a great time on the putting green last week so to see putts going in was good imagery and I tried to feed off that for the rest of round. I hit a string of birdies on my front nine and overall, I didn’t get in to much trouble. When I had opportunity for birdie, for the most part, I was able to hole it, which is nice”. The New Zealander also appeared to be using a mixture of Titleist and TaylorMade equipment after her endorsement deal with PXG expired at the turn of the year. 

Danielle Kang, who lifted the trophy last week at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, carded eight birdies on route to a 7-under 65. Post round she commented, “I don’t really try and focus on momentum, whether you have to create it, or it’s not there. I played well last week and it’s a new week. I still have things to focus and work on”.

Ko entered the tournament ranked third in the world behind defending champion, Nelly Korda, who currently sits in a tie for 11th, and South Korea’s Jin Young Ko, who is not participating this week. England’s Charley Hull opened with a five-under par 67 and finds herself in a tie for fourth.  

Catch the first round highlights below. 

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.