World’s No. 1 female golfer Ko Jin-young finished the first round of her first tournament of the season with a tie for fourth.
Ko shot 4-under 68, including five birdies and one bogey in the first round of the Gainbridge LPGA at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Florida, the U.S. on Wednesday local time, three shots behind Lydia Ko, who took the lead alone. The 2021 LPGA Tour opened in January but Ko made her 2021 debut at the Gainbridge, which is season’s second tournament, after her stay in Korea for training.
Annika Sorenstam, who made a LPGA return 13 years after her retirement in 2008, stole the spotlight at the Gainbridge. With her husband on the bag, Sorenstam had a 3-over 75, including one birdie, one bogey, and one triple-bogey, tying for 77th spot, along with Park Sung-hyun and Choi Na-yeon. Sorenstam, who has 72 career victories, made a major mistake on the par-4 fifth hole, making a costly triple-bogey, which included a drop for an unplayable lie and a three-putt.
Sorenstam’s average driver distance was 240 yards, hitting 64 percent of her fairways and 66.7 percent of her greens in regulation. “[To] find that switch and just kind of turn it on, it’s not as easy as I thought,” said Sorenstam, adding she will try to shoot under par in the second round to make the cut. World No. 2 Kim Sei-young shot even par, finishing a tie for 41st.