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Friday, April 24, 2015

Lydia Ko Is At It Again

I guess it shouldn't be a surprise but Lydia Ko is back on top of the leaderboard at the Swinging Skirts event. Of course, she's the defending champion and she's already defended at one LPGA event, the Canadian Pacific Women's Open (she won in 2013 and 2014). However, she wasn't a pro then. Last year's Swinging Skirts event was her first LPGA victory as a pro.

Lydia Ko during the first round

And after the first round she leads by one stroke. She shot a 67 (-5) on that tough Lake Merced course in fairly cool weather.

In many ways the real fun concerns what's happening behind her. For example, Juli Inkster is tied for second place right behind her (she's from the Bay Area, so she's very comfortable on the course).

Stacy Lewis is in the group at two shots back, and she has a chance to retake the #1 spot in the Rolex Rankings if she can get it together. (Inbee Park can as well, but she's at +1 -- T43 -- so she's got some work to do.) And Morgan Pressel, who's been playing very well over the last few weeks and whose game is well-suited to the tight Lake Merced course, is also at -3 with Lewis.

And that's only the tip of the iceberg. The field is loaded with top-ranked players. Even Azahara Munoz is back after her hand surgery; despite having hit full shots for only a week, she's at even par after her first round. So this could become a very fun tournament very fast.

BTW, today Lydia turns 18. The rest of the field better hope she doesn't decide to celebrate her birthday the way she did last year... that's why she's defending!

Coverage is in prime time again on GC starting at 6pm ET.

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