‘I used to call the fescue haggis’: Lydia Ko trails by one at Women’s Scottish Open, where she’s hoping to finally master links golf

·3 min read

Scotland’s Gemma Dryburgh called it the calmest Scottish Open she’s ever seen after her morning round.

The afternoon wave certainly couldn’t say the same after a storm dumped rain across Dundonald Links.

Rookie Hye-Jin Choi set the pace early in the day with her opening 8-under 64, holding a one-shot lead over Lydia Ko, Celine Boutier and Lilia Vu at the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open.

Georgia Hall and Narin An are two shots back. Choi, who said she doesn’t have many fond memories of links golf, made three birdies and an eagle over her last five holes.

“It’s proper links,” said Hall, the 2018 AIG Women’s British Open champion. “It’s really tough holes, as well, when you get kind of near the sea, the other side, I find it fairly easy to visualize shots.”

Ko, who posted a tour-leading 11th bogey-free round of the season, admitted that she hasn’t played links golf as well as she would’ve liked in the past, though she has enjoyed the learning experience. Last year, Ko tied for second at this event and had mixed feeling about it moving to a new venue.

“I used to call the fescue haggis,” said Ko of her early days in Scotland, “and then I remembered I had like a Scottish caddie once, and he was like, ‘What are you talking about? Like that’s something you eat.'”

This marks Vu’s first time in Scotland, and she has given herself a bit of an attitude adjustment from last week.

“I was a little bit of a party-pooper last week,” said Vu. “I was just in a bad mood. And then I had some self-reflections. I missed the cut by one, but anyone would kill to be in my position to play in France, and Evian, it’s so beautiful there.

“I was telling my mom, I was in such a bad mood, I complained about everything. And I’m just trying to be – just appreciate everything and be grateful for where I am, honestly.”

World No. 2 Minjee Lee, Andrea Lee and Leonie Harm Harm are three back after posting 67s.

“The conditions are pretty perfect,” said Lee after her morning round.

“There’s like kind of not a breath of wind. We didn’t even get any rain. We’re feeling just droplets now. It was really calm out there so I could be quite aggressive on some of the shots, like I had a lot of pitching wedge to probably like 8-iron shots.”

World No. 1 Jin Young Ko shot 70, while 2021 champion Ryann O’Toole shot 68. Ko first played in the Scottish Open in 2018 and said she enjoys playing in front of a Scottish crowd. She’s also a big fan of the food.

“I really love to visit here,” said Ko. “I love to eat sausage roll, I had already at the course, and yesterday I had two.”

Ko spent three hours on Tuesday working on her putting after coming off the course at the Amundi Evian on Sunday so frustrated that she wanted to cry.

What did she discover in that time?

“I don’t know,” she said on Wednesday. “I want to find that.”

Ko hasn’t won a major on the LPGA since 2019 and hasn’t won a tournament since March.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek