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July 13, 2017

Lydia Ko

Bedminster, New Jersey

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome you to the 2017 U.S. Women's Open, 1st Round going on here today.

Very happy to welcome Lydia Ko who opened up today with a 4-under, 68 with 6 birdies, two bogies, started on 10.

Can you talk a little bit, Lydia, about your round and how you felt playing and how you felt the course this morning?

LYDIA KO: I tried to give myself as many birdies opportunities as I can and with it being a little calmer today kind of need to take advantage of that, especially during a Major Championship because, you know, as the week goes on, you know, normally plays a little tougher and yeah, I played pretty solid and I holed a few really good putts there for par and birdie.

Obviously a little disappointing to finish up with a bogey on the last but when I kind of see how many good par saves I made throughout the day, that I think was -- I'm okay with that.

THE MODERATOR: You played with Shanshan today who is also playing very well. How does that help the two of you both playing well and maybe feeding off of each other a little bit?

LYDIA KO: Shanshan is one of the most consistent players on Tour. I think most of the time I played with her she's played really well so when she was making birdies I tried to feed off that and when somebody in your group is playing good, I think it just kind of sets a tone for the day and yeah, we had I think a hole or so where the whole group birdied and there was -- it wasn't even on the par 5.

I think it just kind of showed we tried to take advantage of the birdies we had and I really enjoyed playing with them and when I saw the tee times I was excited to play with Shanshan and Inbee.

THE MODERATOR: We'll open it to questions.

Q. Lydia, you're usually off to a faster start in the year, not that you're not playing good golf but used to winning right away.
Have you had to be extraordinarily patient this year and sort of take us to where you are?

LYDIA KO: Yeah. I think no matter if you're playing good or not you always have to stay positive and stay patient. I don't feel like I played bad golf. I was in a few good position and contention a few times, wasn't able to bring it together for the whole four days or three days.

Hopefully I'll be more consistent and put myself in better positions. But no matter what you're playing like you always have to stay positive and patient because we're trying to play for many years to come and not focus about what's happening right now.

Q. You spent a lot of time on the putting green earlier in the week. Did you feel like something really came together today because you made a lot of nice par saves, also some good birdie putts?
LYDIA KO: I think I just tried to trust my stroke. That's all you can do, just commit to the line you have and put a good stroke on it.

The greens are firm and fast like they normally are at the U.S. Women's Open so I was trying to just be positive and just be patient. I think those two words are really important for me, just don't get too caught up in the bogeys or the missed shot that I had or the one putt I missed.

And I know there's a lot of good things going on so as long as I just stay focused on the shot in front of me, I think that really worked well today.

Q. Lydia, I saw you make something practice swings today with your finger running down the shaft.
What does that help you with and what are you working on with your swing, more generally speaking?

LYDIA KO: I put that in my routine, you know, even during my waggle I kind of do that just to put a good feel of where the club face is in regards to me and that way I don't have to think about, you know, hey, what do I do with this and this and just putting my finger down in the club shaft really kind of covers the back swing and the follow-through, too.

It's really a two-for-one thing and, with anything, two-for-one deals are not bad.

Q. Lydia, you mentioned outside you're not used to getting off to a good start at this particular tournament. What were your expectations going in to today?
Just as a follow, why do you think that's been an issue for you in ops?

LYDIA KO: I know that, you know, especially when you're playing in the morning, tends to be a little calmer than the afternoons. I try to take advantage of those conditions and when I had the birdie opportunity, try to put a good stroke or put a positive thought.

I don't know. Only good knows why, you know. I haven't had much of a good start at the U.S. Women's Open but, you know, this is my 6th Open and no matter how times you're playing I think you always get excited and a little bit of the butterflies on the first tee and I think this is the biggest Major Championship.

We all want to peak at this time of the year so I'm happy with the way I started. Got a lot of golf to be played. Half the field has yet to start so just got to stay patient and focus more on me and my game than worry about what everybody else is doing and what position I'm in.

Q. Things obviously came really quickly for you and it seemed like golf was simple when you were a kid.
Now that you're the ripe old age of 20, is life more complicated for you at all with a lot of changes going on?

LYDIA KO: I feel a lot older than when I first came on Tour. Nine hour sleep is like a nap for me now.

No, I've been very fortunate about the things that have happened in my career so far. Those things that some just dream of really happened for me. To have happened so early, it kind of came as a shock and a surprise starting from winning my first LPGA event, the Canadian Open in 2012.

Kind of thing, hey, what am I going to do in five years time or I think that thought kind of can linger around. But, to me, I'm trying to think about hey, I've been so fortunate about the things that have happened that I'm more thankful and grateful rather than worry about what's coming ahead and hopefully a lot of exciting things.

Q. Lydia, you made a lot of different changes this year. Do you feel like you're closer to the right recipe, so to speak?
LYDIA KO: Yeah. I made changes but they were pretty much six months ago. So, time has flown by really and really fast and I feel like all the changes I've made, they have been good.

And, with anything, you know, you change it, always takes time to get a little used to but I feel I have a great team behind me that's always going to support me, you know, John with PXG, they've been super supportive and give me the confidence to say hey, I'm going out there to play with the best clubs that are suited for me.

I think just everyone has been really on the same page. I think that's really good that everybody is able to share their ideas and thoughts and do what they think is the best for me.

THE MODERATOR: Lydia Ko, off to a great start with a 4-under, 68. Keep it going this weekend. Thanks for being here.

LYDIA KO: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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