SAN MARTIN, Calif. – Lydia Ko leads women’s golf as the Rolex world No. 1, but she’ll be trying to keep up with a pair of long hitters this week in a dynamic grouping of young stars.
Ko will tee it up with world No. 2 Brooke Henderson and No. 4 Lexi Thompson in the first two rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open at CordeValle Golf Club.
Thompson leads the LPGA in driving distance at 284.2 yards per drive. Henderson is 12th, averaging 268.1 yards per drive. While Ko is just 117th in driving distance at 248.4 yards per drive, she leads the tour in money winnings ($1,816,738), scoring (69.08), rounds in the 60s (30) and putts per greens in regulation.
Henderson is 18 years old, Ko, 19, and Thompson, 21.
They’re off together Thursday at 5:03 p.m. ET and Friday at 11:28 a.m. ET.
“I'm super excited with our pairing,” Ko said. “I think this is a great pairing. I think a lot of people come out to watch Brooke, Lexi and I. Hopefully, if we can do something to inspire one junior out there, coming out to watch and say, `Hey, I want to be like them, and I want to play alongside them in 10 years,’ I think it's a job well done, outside of the fact that we're trying to play some good golf.”
Ko said it will be a valuable experience.
“I think we all learn from each other, we all feed off each other,” she said.