Ko Jin-young Chevron Championship latest results score

Ko Jin-young’s extraordinary run is over and it happened to end in the arena where she would have most wished it had continued. After 34 consecutive under par rounds, the world No 1 shot to 74 on the first day of the Chevron Championship.

The naming might seem appropriate but at Mission Hills, Ko now truly has a mountain to climb if she is to achieve her ambition of winning a third major.

With six wins in her last 11 events, the 26-year-old arrived in Palm Springs, Callifornia as the overwhelming favorite to record her second victory in the season’s opening major after her 2019 breakthrough.

But golf can quickly transform sure-fire things into a pile of ripped-up betting slips and although these are early days and the Korean has the talent to birdie a path back into the hunt, at two-over it is a prohibitive task.

When Ko left the famous layout with the afternoon wave just setting out, she found herself eight behind American Jennifer Kupcho and Australian Minjee Lee, who both fired 66s.

At this stage, Ko’s prime objective is to ensure she does not miss her second cut in almost four years. Only 10 of the 56 morning starters fared worse in a genuine shock for the female game. When told about Ko’s score, one player replied: “Yeah right. April Fool’s Day is not until tomorrow.”

What made her highest round in nine months yet more difficult to fathom were the near perfect conditions. “I was hitting lots of great shots but my putting wasn’t good,” Ko said. “I couldn’t see the break or [get the] speed. Everything was wrong. The greens seemed slower but I don’t know what happened. Now I will go and rest.”

Anna Nordqvist, the Swede who won last year’s Women’s Open, and Germany’s Caroline Masson were in a tie for third after a pair of 68s, while there were satisfactory one-under beginnings for Englishwomen Charley Hull and Bronte Law.

Leona Maguire, the Irish 27-year-old who made such an impression on her Solheim Cup debut last year, is one further back.

McIlroy off the pace in Augusta warm-up

In the first round of the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, Rory McIlroy’s preparations for next week’s Masters did not go to plan in an error-strewn 72 that left him seven off the early pace.

Six birdies, six pars, six bogeys… it looked neat enough on the scorecard but on the TPC itself it was a bit of a mess.

On the 17th, he hit his drive so far right his ball finished under a Lexus. In fairness, he recovered on that par five to make a birdie, although he did receive a break when his third of him clattered against the pin before resting at holeside.

McIlroy, 32, is using this as an unusual route to Augusta – he normally takes off the immediate week before – and, at the very least, will be determined to make the weekend for the competitive action he will believe is necessary before he embarks on his latest attempt to complete the career grand slam.

Scotland’s Russell Knox leads the way, one clear of Rasmus Hojgaard, courtesy of a bogeyless 65 boasting seven birdies. Knox, 36, was a member of the world’s top 20 a little over five years ago, but has fallen to 169.

He has been hinting at improvement of late – with a tie for sixth at last month’s Players Championship – and his hopes of gaining the last spot in Augusta should not be dismissed.

“I know my game is good enough and I would love the win to get to play next week,” Knox, the two-time PGA Tour winner, said. “That’s obviously why I’m here.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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