Ko taking deeper dive into numbers in 2016

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OCALA, Fla. – In a quest to keep improving, Lydia Ko is looking to take a deeper dive into the statistical analysis of her game.

The Rolex world No. 1 is seeking help from StrokeAverage.com’s consultancy service.

“The statistics program the LPGA has is great, but I just want a little bit more detail,” Ko told GolfChannel.com. “I think it will be good. I’m not a really huge numbers or stats person, but I think it’s good for the coaches and trainers and even for the mental aspect of my game. It’s more for the team than me, but it should help me to have even more quality practices.”

The service breaks down elements of a player’s game in more intricate detail, gauging the accuracy of each club in a player’s bag, with more detailed analysis of misses. Ko said even if she hits a fairway with a tee shot, the statistical analysis will tell her if she hit the wrong side of the fairway, based on her intended target. Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood and Suzann Pettersen are listed as clients on StrokeAverage.com’s website.

“They also work with the European Ryder Cup team,” said David Leadbetter, Ko’s swing coach. “They make it easier to know exactly what you need to practice with a very, very detailed analysis. They look for patterns.”

What’s Ko looking to most improve in her game heading into her 2016 debut at this week’s Coates Golf Championship? She wants to get better with her driver, but she isn’t chasing distance.

“I think one of my big goals going into this year is trying to hit a few more fairways than last year,” Ko said. “We’ve been working on trying to get a little bit more consistent with the driver.”

Ko hit 74 percent of the fairways she looked at on tour last year, which ranked 43rd. She hit 79 percent the year before, ranking 19th. Ko has gotten longer under Leadbetter. It doesn’t show up in LPGA statistics, with the tour measuring just two fairways per round, but tour pros have noticed Ko has another gear now. She wants to be more accurate when she goes to it.

“Lydia finished second on tour hitting greens in regulation last year, so she wasn’t too far off track with her driver,” Leadbetter said. “You’re just always trying to get a little better in all areas.”