Ko trying to ignore major expectations


HARRISON, N.Y. – Do you feel pressure to win your first major?

Lydia Ko chuckled when that was asked as the eighth question in her news conference Wednesday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. She said she was surprised it took so long for someone to ask her.

“I don't feel like I'm a perfectionist, but people say I have that kind of a personality,” Ko said. “Sometimes, even though it might be good, I try and force it a little bit.”

Ko, the Rolex world No. 1 at just 18, tied for 51st in the year’s first major championship, the ANA Inspiration. It was her worst finish in her 13 major championship starts.

“Weeks like ANA, I kind of tried so hard, and tried to force some good scores, and I tried to force everything,” Ko said. “That’s when I didn't play as good, and I think that is what's kind of happened the last couple weeks.”

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Ko won the Swinging Skirts Classic in April, her third worldwide title this year. She did not finish outside the top 10 in her first seven worldwide starts this season, but she is coming off a tie for 27th at Manulife, a tie for 16th at Kingsmill and a tie for 41st at the North Texas Shootout in her last three starts. Still, she leads the LPGA in money winnings, Rolex Player of the Year points, Race to CME points and hitting greens in regulation. She’s third in scoring.

“Because you're world No. 1, a lot of people think you should be on the leaderboard every single time,” Ko said. “That kind of pressure, I've been trying to not think about that and just have fun out there.”