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Lydia Ko’s Hall of Fame Dream Drifts Away; Monstrous Sentosa GC Poses Difficulty From the Start

Published 02/29/2024, 10:25 AM EST

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It was an epic season start for Lydia Ko in 2024! The 26-year-old pro ended the year-long winless drought after winning the HGV Tournaments of Champions at Lake Nona. Soon after, at the second start, she finished runner-up in Bradenton Country Club at the Drive On Championship. Per the two amazing performances, Ko was expected to rise further ahead in the season, but did she?

For the third event of her 2024 season, the 20-time LPGA Tour winner is playing at the HSBC Women’s World Championship and the glimpses of her performance spark a concern. More so, as Ko is only one step away from getting her Hall of Fame title, though her play in Singapore may pose a threat to the HOF feat.

Lydia Ko struggles at Sentosa Golf Club

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With 26 points in her portfolio for the Hall of Fame accolade, Lydia Ko needs only one more win to achieve it. However, at first Nelly Korda took that away as she won in her hometown and now the Sentosa Golf Club has made it difficult for Ko to get that one point. The Kiwi pro has had one of the worst rounds of her career at the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

Ko started her round with a par on hole one, however, at the next two holes she made two consecutive bogeys. The front nine were an ordinary affair, as Ko made three total bogeys. She continued her par gameplay at the back nine and, with one bogey on the 15th hole and no birdie through round one, ended her 18 holes at 4 over 76. 

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As a result, Ko is tied at 53 and is at the bottom of the leaderboard. If her performance continues to be the same, the 26-year-old may depart the Singaporean’s greens with her Hall of Fame dream shattered. Although Ko might be relieved, as she was not alone in struggling at the Sentosa Golf Club. Players like Maja Stark finished T57 with 5 over 77, Alison Lee and Emily Pedersen ended with tied for 62 with 7 over 79.

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It was quite a trend in the field, as the conditions at the greens made it difficult for the pros to end with a top finish. World number one, Lilia Vu,correctly summarized the harsh situation at the Tanjong Course as she charted the leaderboard at the HSBC Women’s World Championship.

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Lilia Vu talks about the tough course in Singapore 

The world number one golfer returned to the greens in Singapore and is leading the scoreboard after the first round. However, per Lilia Vu, playing at the Sentosa Golf Club was proving to be a hassle. Vu finished 3 under 69 and was tied for second on the leaderboard. With only three birdies throughout the round, Vu was surprised that she was one of the leaders.

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Talking at her post-match interview, Vu expressed that she was surprised that the scores were so high; she is only one stroke away from the leader of the field. Talking about the scores, she said, “I always expect at least 6-under to be the leader. But yeah, it shows how tough the course is playing.” Although it was difficult playing, Vu took it as “a good challenge.” The golf course is coming out as difficult, yet it is not affecting Vu as much. However, for those at the bottom, like Ko, it can cause stumped play that may hinder her Hall of Fame title and pause it for another week. Will Ko jump up on the leaderboard after round two? Stay tuned to find out.

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Written by:

Khambe Huda Imran

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Huda Khambe is a Golf Writer for EssentiallySports. Growing up watching Tiger Woods and Annika Sorenstam bag one major after the other, Huda Khambe set herself on a path to becoming a sports writer early on. With a year of prior experience in writing, Huda now brings the greens to life with her unique insights on her favorite storylines, such as Jack Nicklaus's record rivalry with Tiger Woods and its impact on both stars.
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Edited by:

Garima Yadav

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