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World No. 1 returns to ANA Inspiration for first time since winning in 2019

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Jin Young Ko was not a fan of Mission Hills Golf Club. That was, at the least, till she gained right here in 2019.

The present world No. 1 earned her first main title on the ANA Inspiration two years in the past. But prior to her breakthrough win, she hadn’t completed higher than T-64 in three earlier begins on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course. Those poor showings created adverse emotions concerning the course and additional snowballed, which led to extra dangerous reminiscences every time she performed there.
So, what modified?

Prior to becoming a member of the tour in 2018, Ko made the journey annually from her dwelling in Korea to California. The flight time is over 13 hours from Seoul to Los Angeles. For Ko, the jet lag was debilitating. She didn’t have the power to muscle her approach round Mission Hills, which on the time had for much longer tough and extra slim fairways.

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“[You] feel like an octopus when you get here from Korea,” Ko informed “I had no energy before the 2017 or ’18, when I played this course. My body was weaker. It was really hard.”

Prior to the 2019 ANA Inspiration, Ko spent March in the United States, competing on the LPGA Tour. It made her stronger, rested and well-adjusted to the time distinction when she teed it up on the yr’s first main. From there, the outcomes adopted, which led to constructive reminiscences and a totally completely different feeling concerning the golf course.

“I have really great memories, so I love this course,” Ko stated about her change of coronary heart. “[On] 18, the last hole, I made a birdie and I won [by three shots] so it was a good memory in my life.”


The 18th gap will play a lot completely different than when she final performed the course final. She skipped the 2020 ANA Inspiration that was postponed to September due to the coronavirus pandemic. This week, the outlet will play as initially designed with an island inexperienced, with none grandstands or hospitality framing the again of the outlet. Wednesday, LPGA guidelines officers stated they intend to transfer up the tee every day to entice gamers to try to make eagle and go for the par 5 in two. Ko laid up en route to her victory in 2019. When requested about how the outlet appeared now, Ko merely stated, “dangerous.”

“If the tees are forward, I might have a chance to [go for] the green with a 5-wood or a hybrid,” she stated. “But it’s going to be more firm. The green on Saturday or Sunday, I think there’s a chance [to go for it]. Otherwise, I might lay up.”

Tuesday, Ko performed the again 9 and stated the course is enjoying more durable than when she gained at 10 below par. She expects birdies to be few and much between this time round. But, if Ko hadn’t gained in 2019, is it potential she may have discovered to love the check that’s Mission Hills?

“Well, if I finished top two or three, maybe. Little chance,” Ko stated with fun.

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