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24 Feb 2018 19:09
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  •   Home > News > Sports

    Ko confident ahead of French major bid

    Lydia Ko is boosted by her runners-up finish last week as she chases major golf success at a tournament that holds a special place.


    The forgotten feeling of jousting for a title has got Lydia Ko revved up for the last major women's golf tournament of the year.

    Rejuvenated New Zealander Ko hopes to recapture the form of 2015 when she claimed victory at The Evian Championship in France at age 18, becoming the youngest women's major winner.

    It was the first of two successive major titles, clinching the ANA Inspiration early the following year to underline her global dominance at the time.

    Since then, the former world No.1 has dipped to eighth in the rankings and is still chasing victory in 2017. Only once in her last six major tournaments has she placed in the top-30.

    It's why last week's runner-up finish at the LPGA tournament in Indianapolis was so important to the 20-year-old.

    Beaten in a final-round duel by classy American Lexi Thompson, Ko was pleased simply to remember what it is like to be in contention.

    "It was nice to be kind of in that position again, and even though I wasn't the one holding the trophy at the end of last week, I still felt like I played good golf," she said.

    "The most important thing was just being in that atmosphere, being in that kind of position again, and it just builds your confidence."

    Ko has finished in the top-eight in three of her four outings at the Evian-Les-Bains course. She was second as an amateur in her debut.

    A stunning final-round 63 carried her to victory two years ago and it was only last year's 43rd-placing that blots the record.

    She is encouraged that nine different players have won the major titles on offer since her French triumph.

    And she is amazed there have been 20 different winners on this year' LPGA Tour.

    "It just shows that it's not someone who's playing well, all the players are playing great," Ko said.

    "You're not getting carried away about, 'Hey, I'm playing against this one person.' The LPGA is a very global tour."

    Conditions are forecast to be cool and damp when she tees off with Canada's Brooke Henderson and South Korea's In-Kyung Kim on Thursday night (NZT).


    NZN




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