Lydia Ko opens with 69; four strokes off lead in Ocala

OCALA, Fla. -- Top-ranked Lydia Ko shot a 3-under 69 on Wednesday in the Coates Golf Championship in her first round of the season, leaving her four strokes behind leader Ha Na Jang.

Ko, 18, closed with a birdie on the par-5 18th, her fourth birdie on the back nine on the Golden Ocala course, which features some tributes to holes at Augusta National, St. Andrews and others.

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Ko tied for second last year in Ocala to reach No. 1 in the world ranking. She went on to win five times and take the Race to the CME Globe and LPGA Tour's points-based player of the year award.

Jang, a 23-year-old South Korean player, also birdied the 18th for a bogey-free 65 and a three-stroke lead over six players. Winless on the LPGA Tour, Jang also tied for second last year behind Na Yeon Choi.

Related Content