In their first tournament of the year it wasn’t surprising that both Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow endured somewhat of a rollercoaster with flashes of brilliance and occasional misfires but having opened with a 9-under 63 and gone on to win, Lydia Ko’s experience was wildly different.
For her part, Maguire opened and closed with 73’s and sandwiched in a 70 and 71 in the middle rounds which left her on -1 for the tournament and in T27 place. She will no doubt feel it could have been much better as she carded four birdies and five bogeys on the final day, including expensive closing bogeys on 15 and 18.
In the cold and windy conditions there were certainly some positives for Maguire to take though as she improved on her opening day position of T83 and hit 13 of 14 fairways on both day 2 and 4 while keeping her putts per round to 28, 26 and 27 after an opening day 30. But there is no doubt that she’ll look at her total of 9 and 8 greens in regulation that she hit on the final two days as having cost her some shots.
For Meadow it was a little different. Sitting well outside the cut line after a first round 75 she battled back with a second round 69 to make the weekend. A third round 77 put paid to any chance she had to move up the leaderboard and a closing round of 72 which included 6 birdies, four bogeys and a double, left her in T57 place.
There were no such struggles for Australia’s Lydia Ko however as she claimed her 17th LPGA title by one shot from Danielle Kang and became the first player to win 17 titles before the age of 25 since Nancy Lopez.
Ko opened with a superb 63 before adding rounds of 70, 72 and 69 for a one stroke victory, but she needed to save par by getting up and down from a greenside bunker on 18 to seal the deal from the American.
“I tried to stay really patient out there and not get carried away with what everybody else was doing and just focus on my game, trying to make the lowest score I could,” said Ko.
“I think that helped me really dial it in and just kind of stay in the present, which I think is really important, especially when other players are playing well and I’m not making many birdies,” she added.