Ko’s blemish-free streak ends at 114 holes

Ko’s blemish-free streak ends at 114 holes

(Reuters) – Ko Jin-young’s mind-boggling run of blemish-free holes ended at 114 when she had a bogey during the opening round at the Portland Classic in Oregon on Thursday.

Ko’s streak finished in surprising fashion when she missed a three-foot par at the ninth hole at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Oregon.

The world number one, well aware of the streak, looked mortified when the ball dribbled left and barely touched the hole.

“I did decelerate so I made bogey,” she said of the putt.

Ko had not dropped a shot since the second hole of the third round of the Women’s British Open, where she finished third.

The South Korean then negotiated 72 holes at last week’s CP Women’s Open in Ontario without a hiccup en route to victory.

LPGA officials could not find any record of a player previously having gone longer than Ko without a dropped shot.

The run was on Ko’s mind from the third round in Canada and in some respects she was almost relieved it was broken.

“Now it’s done and my mind has more freedom,” she said in her rapidly-improving English. “I don’t need to think about bogeys. I can focus more for tomorrow.

“Bogey-free is amazing (for) 18 holes, but I did 114 holes and then done. It’s cool, especially new record, something like that.

“So I want to do (it) again, 115 holes bogey-free hopefully.”

As it happened, her bogey was the lone dropped shot in a four-under 68 that left her four behind the leaders, Australian Hannah Green and South Korean Hur Mi-jung.

Ko, 24, has clearly established herself as the premier player in the women’s game this year, with four LPGA victories including two majors.

On the men’s side, the PGA Tour only began keeping detailed records of bogey-free streaks early this century.

Nobody during this time has done better than Tiger Woods, who went 110 holes without dropping a shot during a magnificent 2000 season in which he won nine times.

More recently, J.T. Poston won this month’s Wyndham Championship without dropping a shot.

Poston’s streak of 83 holes without a blemish spread over three tournaments ended during the first round at the Northern Trust in New Jersey the following week.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond

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