Lydia Ko Tours in the Second Cold Round | LPGA

Her course schedule. In 2016, at the age of 19, Lydia Ko fired 62 at Tiburon Golf Club in the final round of the CME Group Tournament. Four years later, on Thursday this week, when she was traveling across the back nine at three above par, she said to herself, “Oh, wow, just 13 beats worse. ”

Ko gathered with two birdies and a closing bogey Thursday to shoot 74 in the first round of this CME Group Tournament. Then on Friday, as a frigid north wind blew into Naples like a troubled aunt at Christmas, Ko put a heat pack on her lower back and set course, firing 7-under 65 , low cycle of the day. She went from the bottom half of the field down to starting on the back nine, to within four hits of the lead and four groups behind the leaders heading into the weekend.

“I was a lot more on the fairways and I had a much better start,” Ko said after the second round. “Yesterday I was 4-over by seven. At that point you are just trying to get birdies back.

“I was able to do that a little bit. But I got off to a great start (today). You know, it was really important to get a lot of birdie opportunities. Even though it was getting a bit of a creep at the start of the day, I established a lot of good opportunities for birdies, so that makes it a lot less stressful. But, if you try to reduce and reduce it, it will wear you down very quickly. ”

She has certainly played the course differently in 2020 than she did in 2016 or in 2014 when she won the CME Group Tournament as a 17-year-old. That year, she hit a hybrid into the 18th hole almost every round, including the last one. They were her scoring clubs. On Friday, she hit a wedge position into 18.

“I hit a good driver and caught him just to give me the courage to say, ‘Okay, I’m not going to hit him in that 285 (yard) bunker. I hit it and as I was walking, I was like, ‘I know that’ s a Mel (Reid) ball because she hit a good drive. And then I was like, ‘Oh, no, where’s my ball?’ And he had gone in the bunker. I said, ‘Hey, at least I’ve never been here.’ It was a pitching wedge (from there), so as I was, I broke two of my own records.

“But I’ve definitely noticed (that I’m hitting everything further). At ANA, the course was playing pretty long, and I was hitting clubs a lot shorter than I did before.

“I think it’s about bringing it together. Obviously, that’s the hardest thing at times. It’s definitely nice when you beat it a little longer and just hope, and only one smaller club makes a big difference. ”

Not surprisingly, Ko is stronger and faster at 24 than she was at 16. He is called growing up. But with the extra muscle and pace comes a new set of challenges as a mature Ko deals with the failing divisions, the lingering memory of messages and the doubts that always linger. filling the gap when invincibility declines.

“I think sometimes to be honest, the thing that goes my way is myself, for me it feels like, ‘Okay, is this going to go straight, left, right ? ‘You know, those weird thoughts going through your head,’ Ko said. “That’s why Sean (Foley) has been helpful, trying to build my confidence. He randomly sends me songs throughout the week and makes me listen to them.

“I think, obviously, the more I see (my pictures) doing what I think they should be doing, the kind of confidence of building and the negative – the those previous experiences – as a kind of slow going. ”

With her ball hitting as strong as ever and her pace at an unprecedented level, Ko as one advantage builds confidence away from doing another run.

“I think it’s like a construction process,” she said. “But I’m definitely out without thinking too much about technical things. I think it’s more about being out there just believing in myself and hitting it as confidently as I can. ”