Kiwi Ko shares Australian Open golf lead

Jin Young Ko

Away from the golf course, Ko confirmed she had closed down her Twitter account but not because of criticism she was receiving for her off-season changes, but because she admitted she doesn't spend much time on that social network - and it was taking up a lot of space on her phone.

BC-GLF-Women's Australian Open, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 214 Jin Young Ko takes 1st-round lead at Women's Australian OpenEds: EditsJin Young Ko has made six birdies on the back nine in her LPGA Tour debut to take a two-stroke lead in the opening round of the Women's Australian Open in Adelaide.

That left her two shots clear of fellow South Korean Jiyai Shin ahead of Friday's second round at the second LPGA event of the season.

Ko, the 20-year-old New Zealander, has again switched to another coach and caddie and has had 11 caddies since turning pro five years ago.

Ko, a 14-time victor on the LPGA, said she was looking for a coach on the West Coast and had heard good things about Ted Oh, who qualified for the U.S. Open at age 16 and played professionally around the world.

Veteran and five-time champion Karrie Webb, who says she'll play a part-time schedule this year, shot 70. But I feel like I made the right decisions.

"I'm trying to make the decisions where I think it's the best for me in my career", Ko said after her first round at the Kooyonga course.

Her meagre year came after switching coaches from the renowned David Leadbetter, with whom she worked from 2013 to the end of 2106.

The pressure and focus on Ko is vast as the wunderkind who reached No.1 in the world at just 17 years of age. Ko is now working under Ted Oh and added: "Hopefully, this one does go a long way". It showed when she said afterward that she hoped her round would "quieten everything else that's going on".

The early signs at Kooyonga are promising. Lydia Ko is among 10 in a tie for third, three strokes back.

Top-ranked Australian Minjee Lee banked an even-par round while compatriot Green was the best-performed local at three under.

"I know that when I'm out on the golf course I've just got to be as positive as I can and just have a lot of fun", she said.

"I didn't necessarily close it just because of all the criticism", Ko said after the round.

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