Lydia Ko used this past week to rest, recover and relax in Hawaii with family after a tie for 18th finish at the LOTTE Championship. Ko, who has yet to miss a cut since the 2021 DIO Implant LA Open last April, came to the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America with a win already in the bag this season at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. After a solid 69 on day one, Ko followed up with a 4-under 67 on Friday to sit in a tie for second at -6. Despite a rocky start that included a double bogey on the par-3 13th, Ko’s back nine brought her back close to the top of leaderboard, punctuated with an eagle on No. 7.
“I hit a really good drive, 6-iron into the green. Hit it a little more right than I was hoping to, but ended up making the shot look like I had planned it all the way,” said Ko, who notched three additional birdies in her closing nine holes. “I think it just used the ridge, and I think there are quite a few holes here where you can use the ridge to your advantage, some tucked pin positions. Ended up going to like five feet, so was a good place to putt for eagle.”
Ko, who started the day in a tie for 21st, said the course forces players to play creatively and “be patient.” The Kiwi is now only three shots back of leader Hannah Green, who she is paired with in Saturday’s final group.
“I think I just got to stick to my own game. I feel like this is a course where you could be a long hitter, short hitter; it's not like a huge advantage to one type of player,” said Ko. “I think you have to putt really well and have to hit it pretty straight just to be able to give yourself shots into the greens.”