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Lydia Ko in the hunt after first day at US Open despite late round collapse

Lydia Ko has endured a roller coaster opening day at the LPGA’s US Open after her strong start came undone in a four-hole spell in California this afternoon.

Lydia Ko during the third round of the LPGA event in Thailand. Source: Getty

Ko, chasing her first major win in five years, started the day strongly in San Francisco with birdies on the fourth, sixth and seventh holes but all that hard work came undone midway through the back nine.

The former World No.1 followed up a bogey on the 13th with a double-bogey on the par-four 14th to cancel out her earlier birdies but after a brief recovery which saw her go even on the 15th, added another bogey on the 16th.

Ko showed some mental fortitude though to birdie the 17th, leaving her even-par in a tie for 16th overall after the first day with nine others, four shots behind leaders Mel Reid and amateur Megha Ganne.

Ko has had a strong start to 2021 with the Kiwi earning six top-10 finishes from her eight tournaments, including a drought-ending win at the LOTTE Championship last month.

Her other two results were a tie for 26th at the Kia Classic in March and her only cut missed so far this season at the LA Open last month.

Regardless, Ko sits second in the Tour’s standings for the season with her impressive results which has earned her $1.18 million this year alone in prizemoney.

Ko’s last Major win was at the ANA Inspiration in 2016 but she will head to San Francisco with some added confidence after breaking her three-year title drought earlier this year with a breakthrough in Hawaii.