Atthaya Thitikul opens with record-setting 63 at LPGA’s BMW in South Korea; No. 1 Jin Young Ko shoots 80

Atthaya Thitikul says she’s not thinking about awards, but her opening 9-under 63 set a tournament record at the BMW Ladies Championship at Oak Valley Country Club in South Korea and certainly added fuel to the Rolex Player of the Year conversation.

It stood in stark contrast to World No. 1 Jin Young Ko’s opening 80. Ko took two months off to heal a bum wrist and struggled mightily in her first round back, making a 10 on the par-5 18th after a wayward tee shot. She also recorded six bogeys.

“Golf can be like this,” Ko told South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. “Things don’t always go the way I want them to. I did the best I could. Whatever the final score is, it’s on me to accept that and to figure out where I can get better. I will try to stay positive to get ready for the remaining rounds.”

Ko, who won this tournament last year on a different course, said she didn’t want to make any excuses with her wrist, saying her goal is to wrap up the tournament playing pain-free. She’s tied for 76th in a field of 78. There is no cut.


Jin Young Ko of South Korea prepares to play her second shot out of the rough on the 18th fairway during the first round of the BMW Ladies Championship at Oak Valley Country Club on October 20, 2022 in Wonju, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

In 2017, Sung Hyun Park became the first player since Nancy Lopez (1978) to win both the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award and Player of the Year award in the same season.

Could Thitikul be the next?

She leads the Rookie of the Year race and trails Minjee Lee by 25 points. A victory is worth 30 points.

Thitikul looks to win her third title of the season this week at the BMW, which would make her the No. 1 player in the Rolex Rankings, overtaking Jin Young Ko. She could also ascend to the top if she finishes solo fourth or better and No. 3 Minjee Lee doesn’t win

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By: Beth Ann Nichols
Title: Atthaya Thitikul opens with record-setting 63 at LPGA‘s BMW in South Korea; No. 1 Jin Young Ko shoots 80
Sourced From: golfweek.usatoday.com/2022/10/20/bmw-atthaya-thitikul-63-south-korea-jin-young-ko/
Published Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2022 14:03:49 +0000

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