The DIO Implant LA Open was not one of Jin Young Ko’s favorite performances. After making a quadruple bogey on the 17th during the third round last week – the first of her LPGA Tour career – Ko finished in a tie for 21st (-2) at Wilshire Country Club after making a double bogey, three bogeys and just one birdie in the final 18 holes. As she prepared for a new week in the Los Angeles area, Ko went right back to her Rolex Rankings No. 1 ways, carding a first-round 64 at the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America to sit in solo second going into Friday.
“Before starting today round, I just remind golf is golf. Don't think about last week. Starting again, new routine. Get the routine like step by step and don't think about future,” said Ko, who carded one bogey and eight birdies on the day. “I'm trying to think right now and hit this ball, and then after shot, don't think about scores. Just feel my body and feel my mind and just enjoy.”
Ko, who started on No. 10, finished strong with six consecutive birdies through Nos. 2-7. It’s the most birdies she’s made in row this season, and the most since the third round of the 2021 CME Group Tour Championship (seven, Nos. 2-8). Ko’s 64 is also her lowest opening-round score since the 2021 Cognizant Founders Cup, where she carded a 63. This is the third time this season Ko has been in the top five after day one, after doing so at the HSBC Women’s World Championship (fifth) and the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol (first). With 18 holes completed on a brand-new layout, Ko hopes to carry the consistency she felt on Thursday into the rest of the week, especially with her putting.
“Greens are really, really small this one, and we have to focus. Middle of the green is just like maximum 20 feet for putt,” said Ko, who only needed 25 putts to get around PVGC on day one. “So it's kind of fun this course so I'm enjoying.”