World No. 1 Lydia Ko is back in action after a two-week rest she hopes will energize her for a busy major championship run this summer.
Ko will tee it up Thursday at the Manulife LPGA Classic in Canada looking for her fourth worldwide title this season.
Three major championships are scheduled over the next nine weeks with the KPMG Women’s PGA next week, the U.S. Women’s Open July 9-12 and the Ricoh Women’s British Open July 30-Aug. 2.
Ko, 18, came into the year’s first major in April off a hectic run and didn’t play well at Mission Hills. She went into the ANA Inspiration having played five of the previous six weeks with international travel wedged within that run. She tied for 51st at ANA, her worst finish this season and her worst finish in a major.
David Leadbetter, Ko’s swing coach, urged her to take some down time before this busy summer run.
“To be honest, I really haven’t practiced much,” Ko said Wednesday in her pretournament news conference at the Manulife Classic. “I had a really good rest, but I’m excited to be out practicing again.”
Ko, who just turned 18 in April, is looking to win her first major. She has four chances this summer to become the youngest woman to win one. Morgan Pressel was 18 years, 10 months and 9 days old when she won the Kraft Nabisco in 2007. Ko will be younger than that if she wins the Women’s PGA, U.S. Women’s Open, Women’s British Open or Evian Championship this year.
Ko said she made scouting trips to the U.S. Women’s Open venue at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania and the Women’s PGA venue at Westchester Country Club in New York during her two weeks off, but she didn’t do a lot outside that while conserving energy in preparation for this busy summer run.
“I was planning on sitting outside by the pool, maybe fixing my golfer’s tan, but I ended up just lying in bed, doing a couple assignments, watching TV, being pretty lazy,” she said. “I really didn’t see the sun a couple days.”
Ko is juggling homework with her professional golf career. She’s in her first semester at Korea University, where she’s enrolled in a psychology course and English and German classes.