Ko brings modest goals to Royal Liverpool
LIVERPOOL, England – The difficulty of playing Royal Liverpool quickly became apparent to 15-year-old Lydia Ko.
In relatively normal weather conditions Tuesday, Ko found the experience to be difficult from her first tee shot.
“On the first hole, I went in the right rough and second shot in the right rough and then third shot in the right rough again, so it's tough," she said, managing a laugh. “And I consider myself quite consistent, quite straight off the tee, and it was quite tough."
Ko called Liverpool "one of the hardest golf courses I've ever played."
Ko, who won the U.S. Women's Amateur and the LPGA's Canadian Open this summer, enters the season's final women's major in much the mindset as she took to Canada three weeks ago.
“My goal wasn't to win in the Canadian Open," Ko said. "You just want to make the cut, really, and that's good, just making the cut. And it's really tough to get going against the pros."
"It's the top players out here, so I'll just be playing my best and hopefully I'll be able to make the cut again and go from there."
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THIS LOOKS SORT OF FAMILIAR: Paula Cramer arrived in Liverpool on Tuesday just in time to shower and make the pro-am. Creamer was delayed stateside because of her nine-hole playoff loss to Jiyai Shin at Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va., that lasted until Monday morning.
Creamer knows Royal Liverpool, having played the course earlier in the summer. During that round, the wind was down but the rough was brutal. Some of that gnarly rough is still there, but the course played very differently Tuesday for Creamer.
“We didn’t have this type of wind,” she said during her pro-am round. “This course is playing very hard.”
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PLEASANT, BUT ... Weather on the west coast of England has been, in a word, wet this year. However, contestants at this week's Ricoh Women's British Open are not likely to have to pop the umbrellas at Royal Liverpool.
That’s not to say it can’t change, but the forecast for Thursday is pleasant, with partly sunny skies. Clouds will prevail through the weekend, but no significant precipitation is forecast.
Regardless, Royal Liverpool will prove to be stern enough. Winds of 15 to 23 mph, narrow fairways and rough tall enough to hide a medium-size dog will penalize wayward shots.
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WHAT'S THIS? Links golf is a bit foreign to American Stacy Lewis. Mix in 30-mph winds and only two or three days of practice, and she faces a tough transition.
“You have to hit it well off the tee," Lewis said. "You have to hit good shots, and then the greens. The bunkers are definitely a penalty."
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SHORT SHOTS: Thirty-Six Americans, the largest contingent from any country, have made the trip to Hoylake. South Korea is second with 20, followed by England (15) and Australia (10). . . . Laura Davies, the 1986 Women’s British Open winner, will be playing in her 32nd Open. . . . The final Open qualifying took place at Caldy Golf Club, with 21 players advancing. Taiwan's Amy Hung shot 3-under 69 to win the medal.