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Lydia Ko trying to pace herself on tour

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm •  Published: May 29, 2014
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GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Lydia Ko is trying to pace herself in her first season on the LPGA Tour.

"I skipped last week and I skipped the tournament in Texas, as well," the 17-year-old Ko said Thursday, a day before the start of play in the ShopRite LPGA Classic. "Obviously, I would like to play the whole schedule and get to every tournament, but it is definitely tough playing all 32 events."

Ko won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California in late April and has five top-seven finishes in 10 tour starts this year.

"I've been really enjoying myself, playing on the tour," said Ko, born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand. "I think every moment has been really special. I can't believe that already a third has gone by."

The teenager won the Canadian Women's Open as an amateur the last two years and took the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in December in Taiwan in her second start as a professional. She has six victories in pro events, also winning in Australia and New Zealand, and is No. 3 in the world.

"I really don't think about my ranking," Ko said. "I just feel like I'm another golfer going out there to play some golf, and you know, to be at the top, and I guess when you're ranked the best female golfer in the world, that's something special. I mean, hopefully I can be the world's No. 1 golfer. It doesn't need to be now. That's what I'm thinking. I just want to pace myself and really enjoy it, and I mean, I have just got to have fun and, to me, that's the most important thing."

Ko will play alongside top-ranked Inbee Park and Paula Creamer in the first two rounds on the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club.

Park missed the cut last week in Alabama, ending her streak at 22 events. She's winless in nine tour starts this season after sweeping the first three majors last year and finishing the season with six victories.

"I didn't have a good week last week, but you always get a time that you're not playing so well," Park said. "I was very confident after a two-week break. I was hitting the ball great. I was putting great. I was very confident coming into last week, and once the tournament started, I just don't know what happened. I lost everything. I was hitting the ball bad. I was putting so bad last week."

Ko and second-ranked Stacy Lewis, the 2012 tournament winner, both have a chance to take the top spot from Park this week. Lewis won the North Texas LPGA Shootout four weeks ago.

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