GULLANE, United Kingdom (AFP) — Ko Jin-young hopes to rediscover the form that catapulted her to the head of the world rankings in the Women’s British Open at the historic setting of Muirfield in Scotland.
The 27-year-old South Korean won two majors in 2019 during a meteoric rise in the women’s game and claimed five titles in scooping the majority honors on last year’s LPGA Tour.
But she has struggled to hit top form this season, her sole victory coming at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore back in March.
Ko recently spent time working with her coach back in South Korea, but a lowly finish at last week’s Scottish Open leaves her still a little mystified.
“But I am so thrilled to be here at Muirfield,” she said Wednesday on the eve of the tournament.
“I’ve always wanted to play the course and my (English) caddie told me how amazing it is.”
“He’s right. It’s been a bit windy but it is very nice and I am really looking forward to the test. I think level par could win.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ko hasn’t played in a British Open since 2019, when it was staged over the parkland Woburn course in central England.
But she has form on Scottish links having finished runner-up to Park Inbee at Turnberry in 2015.
“I do enjoy links courses and it’s nice to be back,” Ko added.
“When I was a young girl I always wanted to be the world No 1 and I can’t really believe that I have made it. But there is a little bit of pressure.”
England’s Georgia Hall, meanwhile, is relishing a return to links golf.
Hall won the British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes in 2018 and was joint-second behind Anna Nordqvist at Carnoustie last year.
“I have never been to Muirfield before but the British is always my highlight of the year,” Hall said.
“I always have confidence playing on links courses.”