21 Jan 2016

Ko delays start to LPGA season

2:50 pm on 21 January 2016

New Zealand's world number one golfer Lydia Ko has delayed the start to her Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour season.

The New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko.

The New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ko has decided not to play the season-opening event in the Bahamas.

The 18-year-old will make her first start in Florida at the Coates Championship which gets underway on 3 February.

The delay isn't due to injury, with Ko's coach David Leadbetter confirming to the Golf Channel that she's healthy.

"It's just part of a scheduling strategy," said Leadbetter.

"She just wants another week to get sharp. It isn't that she didn't like the golf course. She just didn't like all the wind, and she just wanted another extra week to get ready for a very busy schedule."

After she's played in Florida, Ko will head home to play in the New Zealand Open before competing in the Australian Open the following week.

If she played the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic, she would be looking at four consecutive weeks of competition with overseas travel and two title defences in the mix.

That would have been a torrid start to an especially busy LPGA season that will include the Rio Olympics.