October 3, 2023

Kiwi Ko makes fine start to 2023 season, shares lead at Saudi Arabia

Lydia Ko.

Kiwi Lydia Ko has made a superb start to the 2023 season, hitting a bogey-free opening round to share the lead at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International.

Playing her first tournament of the year, the world No.1 is tied first with Thailand’s Pajaree Anannarukarn on eight under par.

Ko hit eight birdies, as she looks to win back the title she claimed in 2021, after not contesting the European Tour event last year.

Prizemoney for the tournament is US$5m (NZ$8m), with the winner talking away with US$750,000 (NZ$1.2m).

Ko is pleased with her efforts on the opening day of her first competitive tournament since getting married at the end of last year.

“I knew that today was the day to take advantage of the calmer conditions,” she said.

“With some of the pin positions, I needed to be a little bit more aggressive. Most of the opportunities I had, I was able to take advantage of that – it was that kind of a day and a nice start to the season.

“It’s cool to see I have an officially under-par round as a Mrs.”

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