Ko not thinking of No.1

01 May 2018 04:23:33 EST

A relieved Lydia Ko claimed her first victory in 43 starts, but insisted she is not going to get carried away with a hunt for the top spot in women's golf.

"To me the rankings is probably the last thing I'm going to think about," she insisted after defeating Minjee Lee on the first extra hole of the play-off in Sunday's Mediheal Championship in San Francisco.

I knew that my game was there, but I just kind of needed to put the pieces together.

Lydia Ko

Amazing as it sounds Ko only turned 21 last week and yet in her brief life she has managed to overcome a victory drought of two years. Indeed she was just 17 years and nine months old when she reached the top of the women's world rankings during a spell in which she won 14 times on the LPGA.

Her 15th title was hard-won after a period of changes to her swing, coach, equipment and caddie.

"For me," she said, "what is more important than the rankings is that I am more confident out on the golf course and that I'm able to hit shots without worrying about where it's going to go or what's going to happen.

"It's a huge relief because people are like, hey, because of this you're not winning or because of that you're not winning. I tried to stay away from all discussion and just focus on what was going on in front of me.

"I knew that my game was there, but I just kind of needed to put the pieces together. I think the big thing for me was that I was frustrated because sometimes I would go into Thursday feeling, hey, I feel like I can actually play really well and then miss the cut or shoot over par.

"My mum actually said, hey, just clear your mind, just take away all the weight off your shoulders. Go out and play. That's what I think I was able to finally do."

It says much about how good Ko is that despite the world believing she was out of form, she preceded last week's victory with a run of 15 cuts made in 16 starts - all 15 of those weekend finishes were T33rd or better with five top tens.

The New Zealander is 10/1 to make it back-to-back titles in this week's Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, with Brooke Henderson priced at 14/1 and In Gee Chun 14/1.

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