Jin Young Ko's streak of consecutive under-par rounds ends at 34
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — It was a day made for low scoring, to the degree a major championship yields low scores, but the player most likely to post one stumbled, ending a remarkable record streak.
Jin Young Ko, No. 1 in the Rolex Ranking, had made a habit of posting low scores, an LPGA-record 34 in a row under par. But on a warm day with little wind at Mission Hills, Ko shot an opening round of two-over-par 74 in the Chevron Championship, leaving her eight shots off the pace set by Jennifer Kupcho and Minjee Lee, who had 66s.
“Well, I was hitting lots of great shots,” she said, “but my putting wasn't good on the greens. I couldn't see the break as much or speed, everything was wrong. I don't know what happened. But that's why I couldn't make no birdies today. But, yeah, it's fine. The greens are little slower than the last couple days. Well, I don't know what happened.”
In other words, she was as puzzled as everyone else by this unexpected blip in an otherwise astonishing run that included six victories.
Ko, starting on the back nine on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, went out in even-par 36, making nine straight pars. She bogeyed her 10th and 17th holes and posted a score at even or above par for the first time since last July, in the Evian Championship.
She hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens, numbers usually sufficient at least to shoot par or better. But taking 34 putts was the roadblock that ended the streak.