Rolex Rankings No. 2 Jin Young Ko last teed it up in competition on Aug. 7, finishing tied for ninth nearly six weeks ago at the Tokyo Olympics. After a few weeks of relaxation at home in Korea, she is back with a vengeance at the Cambia Portland Classic, surging to the top of the leaderboard after a second-round 67.
“I changed the putter few weeks ago in Korea and I spend time, over a month, in Korea, so I feel really like comfortable and like fresh,” said Ko, who added that she often changes her putter, even when she is playing well. “So I'm playing really good right now.”
The 67 was a welcome turnaround from Thursday’s 69, which didn’t look bad on paper but certainly didn’t live up to Ko’s lofty expectations thanks to three consecutive bogeys on the back nine. She said that the greens at Oregon Golf Club are “very clean and in good condition,” and with just 48 putts over two rounds, Ko pointed to her play on the greens as a strength. “If I putt as I see the green, I have the confidence that they will always go in,” she said.
She also had fun riding the wave of her grouping with power-hitters Patty Tavatanakit and Angel Yin, with Tavatanakit regularly outdriving Ko by 20 yards.
“They hit so far, so I try to don't look at swing or distance,” she said. “But Patty played good today, so I wanted to follow her. That's why I play really good today.”