Making her return to competition following a two-month hiatus, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko shot 80 in the opening round of the BMW Ladies Championship.
Ko, the tournament’s defending champion, had three birdies and two bogeys over her opening nine holes at Oak Valley Country Club in Wonju, South Korea. But a disastrous back nine sent her tumbling near the bottom of the leaderboard.
Ko bogeyed Nos. 10-14 and concluded her round with a 10 on the par-5 18th. After losing her tee shot and hitting a provisional, according to the Golf Channel broadcast, Ko was left in a precarious spot, from which she hit her fourth shot (including the penalty) left-handed.
It took her eight shots to finally reach the green. The final two putts weren’t captured during coverage, but you can witness most of Ko’s 18th-hole struggles below:
“Golf can be like this,” Ko, T-76 in the 78-player field, told South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. “Things don’t always go the way I want them to. I did the best I could. Whatever the final score is, it’s on me to accept that and to figure out where I can get better. I will try to stay positive to get ready for the remaining rounds.”
Ko is competing in her first LPGA event since late August because of an ailing left wrist, which has plagued her since last season.
Her victory here last year was her fourth of five LPGA titles over the final few months of 2021, en route to reclaiming world No. 1 from Nelly Korda and earning Player of the Year honors.