15 Jul 2015

Homesickness topples Ko

3:15 pm on 15 July 2015

New Zealand's world golf number two Lydia Ko is putting her recent disappointing form down to homesickness.

Ko has told golfchannel.com she went through a spell last month where she was playing more dutifully than joyfully going to the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, where she missed her first cut ever playing an LPGA event.

She also lost her number one world ranking but she says the drop in form wasn't really about her swing or putting or some technical issue with her game.

Ko who's 18, said she doesn't feel burned out but rather is simply missing New Zealand.

"I really just missed home and wanted to go see my friends. Last year, in the offseason, I did go back, but I went back for three days. When you are away for pretty much the whole year, and you're only back three days... I just started really missing my friends."

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko is missing her friends back home Photo: Photosport

"I'm kind of a talkative person. I like to talk to my friends and have fun. I think I was kind of missing that. It kind of drifted me away from here [on tour]. I tried to get myself together. Hopefully, I don't know, I might go back before the off season. Who knows? I think having fun is important. That's what I always say, because that's the most important thing."

Ko secured a top-15 place at the recent US Women's Open.

She said she had some fun in a round that saw one of her shots bounce out of a creek and another ricochet off a tree into and back into the fairway.

She's determined to make sure she enjoys the game more and taking that attitude to the Marathon Classic in Toledo, Ohio, this coming week.

"You're always going to say `I know I could have done this better or that better,'" Ko said.

"The last two weeks I've been trying to smile a lot more, just enjoy it. That's really helped me, even in bad situations. I've had a lot of fun."