Singapore wind to test Ko’s chill factor

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Lydia Ko of New Zealand attends a press conference ahead of 2016 HSBC Women’s Champions golf tournament in Singapore on March 2, 2016. The tournament runs from March 3 to 6. AFP PHOTO

Lydia Ko of New Zealand attends a press conference ahead of 2016 HSBC Women’s Champions golf tournament in Singapore on March 2, 2016. The tournament runs from March 3 to 6. AFP PHOTO

SINGAPORE: World No.1 Lydia Ko said on Wednesday that it will take smart golf to beat the unusually windy conditions at this week’s HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.

The 18-year-old New Zealander has held the top ranking for 19 consecutive weeks and is looking for a maiden win at the tricky Serapong course on Sentosa island.

She is looking to turn the tables on world number two and defending champion Park In-Bee of South Korea, who edged the teenager by two strokes last year.

Ko, known for a laid-back demeanor which has served her well in a phenomenal early career, arrives on the back of a strong start to the season.


In February, she defended the New Zealand nationals, finished second at the Australian Open and tied for third at the Coates Golf Championship in Florida.

But she cast a wary eye on the winds blowing over Serapong that are not showing any sign of abating. Ko said it will make the narrow course and its wide greens a lot trickier.

“You just have to be smart here,” said Ko. “It has been really windy the last few days. So I am imagining it will be the same in the next couple of days.

“I think that plays a huge factor, especially around some of the holes where we’re by the water or where there are no trees and there is nothing blocking them.”

Park, who took a month’s break to recover from a back injury, has not missed the Singapore leg of the Women’s Tour since its debut in 2008.

The 27-year-old said accuracy is key to making par, but like Ko she believes the winds will have a big say on the final outcome.

“I don’t think I’ve seen Singapore this windy in the last six or seven years. It has been like this for the past three days and I am expecting it to be the same in the next four days,” said Park.

AFP

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