Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ko must learn to align herself; Park likes it

Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko says she will learn to adjust without her caddie lining her up.

And while Inbee Park won’t be affected by the USGA’s and R&A’s proposed new rule prohibiting caddies from aligning players – Park doesn’t use her caddie for alignment – she likes the change.

Ko and Park both moved themselves into contention Thursday at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.

If finalized, as expected, the proposed new rule prohibiting caddies from standing behind players to align them will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

“That means I’ve got two years to get myself to line up straight,” Ko said after opening with a 3-under-par 69 in Singapore, which leaves her three shots off the lead.

Ko used her caddie to line her up for full shots Thursday, as many players did. Once in effect, the rule change will require new pre-shot routines for a number of LPGA pros.

“They gave me enough time to, I guess, practice my alignment, so I can’t really be complaining,” Ko said.

About the other proposed rule changes in the USGA and R&A draft released Wednesday, Ko said: “Some of the [other] rules I got to see, I think made sense, like being able to tap down spike marks in the future . . . I think it’s going the right direction.”

Park opened with a 67. Her take on the proposed new alignment prohibition:

“I think that’s good, because I don’t use anyone to line me up, and I don’t think that’s doing any good to the players, anyway,” Park said. “I think players rely on their feel. … I think it’s pretty fair.”

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