Lydia Ko had quite the break from LPGA competition after the LPGA Drive On Championship – Reynolds Lake Oconee. Before heading to Belleair, Fla. for this week’s Pelican Women’s Championship, Ko jetted off to the Omega Dubai Moonlight Classic on the Ladies European Tour, where she finished in a tie for 10th under the lights. Ko said she’s thankful to be playing under the sun once again after a second-round 67 to sit tied for sixth heading into the weekend.
“That was really fun. Was able to say officially that my eyesight is not good in the dark,” Ko joked. “Was very questionable actually where I think if I ever go there again I need some sort of glasses to help me.”
Once she returned to her home in Orlando, Fla., Ko practiced with friend Lindy Duncan everyday leading up to Pelican, sometimes playing 27 holes a day. She said spending time out on the course is the best way for her to practice and to get a feel for her swing heading into tournaments. The work certainly helped today, although Ko is hoping for a few more birdie opportunities over the final two days.
“Obviously, finished strong with a couple birdies coming in my first round, but I was scrambling a lot to make pars. The course, especially with the wind direction, sometimes the holes can play a lot longer or shorter, so you kind of have to play that to your strength,” said Ko, who carded five birdies and two bogeys on the day. “Holed a few good like 15 footers and made a really good birdie on two, so I felt like it was kind of like two shots going into that hole. But, yeah, I just feel like everything came together, and I've been hitting my driver really well. Hopefully continue that and a few more looks for birdies on the weekend.”
ROBYNN REE SHEDS THE STRESS HEADING INTO THE WEEKEND
After her round on Thursday afternoon, Robynn Ree returned to her housing for the week at the Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging and Konica Minolta, ate dinner and finished the final project for her Real Estate Design online course through the University of Southern California. It was the last assignment for the last class in what is her second-to-last semester before graduation.
The 2019 Symetra Tour graduate then turned around and carded her second-straight round of 1-under par 69. She is six shots back of the lead and tied for ninth heading into the weekend in Belleair, Fla.
“It was an architecture design class. I had to revise, write five paragraphs about critiques I received and redo some drawings,” said Ree, who is working towards a major in real estate development. “I took a two-year break from school, so it’s hard but I just have one more semester.
“I tried to not think about much today, not make anything complicated. The greens are really tough and it is super windy. If I made a mistake, I tried my best to recover. I need to tidy up my shots a little bit, my putting is definitely saving me right now. I’m trying to keep everything simple because I’ve been stressed with finals.”
Ree missed the cut in four of her first five starts to open the 2020 LPGA Tour season. She has not missed a cut in five starts since and earned a career-best finish of tied for fifth at the Cambia Portland Classic in that span. Ree said the reason for her turnaround is that she’s more comfortable being her own caddy.
“It’s what I’ve always done my whole life, even through college, play by myself,” said Ree. “I’m not really used to having a caddie and I think that has been a really big adjustment for me. Since it’s optional to have a caddie this year, I’ve had one at big tournaments and other than that, I caddy for myself which is the difference.”