Aug 18th, 2016
Slow start for Gold medal favourite Lydia Ko
Ariya Jutanugarn leads
Words: John Dean Photography: Getty Images
Olympic Golf medal favourite Lydia Ko got off to a slow start in her first round at the Olympics, and needed a par save on her first hole when her opening tee shot went into a bunker.
But she holed out for an eagle late in her round to get her gander back up. "It was my first eagle at the Olympics, so I think it's great," Ko said after finishing Day 1 at 2-under 69 and tied 11th, four shots back of leader Ariya Jutanugarn. "I was even-par at that point in my round, so [to] go from zero to 2-under I think was a great turnaround."
Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn comes into the Olympic event fresh off her maiden major championship win at the Women’s British Open, which was staged at Woburn, and her good form continued with a six under 65 to take a one shot lead from Imbee Park and Seiyoung Kim.
Lexi Thompson is the leading American at 3-under 68, and is tied for seventh. Americans Gerina Piller (69) and Stacy Lewis (70) also broke par.
Thompson bogeyed both on the reachable par-5 18th, and the par-3 fourth hole. But she was happy with her day’s work.
“Great day out there,” Lexi said. “Hit it well. Had a few little sketchy holes that I didn’t hit too well and I scrambled, so that’s what golf is all about.”
Thompson had to contend with a couple of bad lies in scrubland just off the fairway, something she intends to avoid for the rest of the week.
“It’s not the easiest,” she said. “It’s very soft sand and a lot of footprints that I got in. But if you hit it in there, it’s not the best of tee shots.”