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Ko searching for accuracy as world ranking slips

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Lydia Ko’s season hasn’t started the way she hoped, but she will be looking to change that Thursday when she tees it up at the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

Ko tied for 19th in her first start of the year at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and then grinded to a tie for 31st last week at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

The former world No. 1 has fallen outside the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, sitting at No. 11 this week.

She told media in Singapore that she is focused on “areas of my game that needs work.”

That would be her ball striking.

Full-field scores from the HSBC Women’s World Championship

Ko hit just 27 of 56 fairways in Thailand last week. That was 14 fewer than Jessica Korda, the winner, who is a much longer player off the tee.

Ko hit just 43 of 72 greens in Australian, 18 fewer than Jin Young Ko, the winner.

It’s really early, but in two starts, Ko ranks 130th on tour in driving accuracy and 90th in greens in regulation.

Ko was asked by media in Singapore about her decision to change coaches and caddies again, leaving Gary Gilchrist for Ted Oh and Peter Godfrey for Jonny Scott before the season’s start.

“I have no regrets in the changes I made, and I think it was all going towards the right direction,” Ko said. “Sometimes, you're not going to take those big steps to go to that final goal. It's little steps that make it go there.”

She was also asked about her world ranking.

“Even when I was a rookie on tour, and before I was world No. 1, and now, I don't really think about the rankings that much,” she said. “If you keep playing solid, and give yourself opportunities, and keep putting yourself in contention, the rankings and all those points kind of build up at the end.

“So, I'm not really the type to look at the rankings and say, ‘Hey, I've got to do this to do that.’ That really takes care of itself after the play is done.”