Lydia Ko in running to end barren streak in California

LPGA Tour

Lydia Ko enjoyed a welcome return to form at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship by earning a place on top of the leaderboard at the end of the first day.

The last of Ko’s 14 LPGA Tour wins came almost two years ago in July 2016, but a four-under 68 at Lake Merced gave her a chance of ending that barren streak.

The Kiwi golfer has twice won at the course previously and those memories seemed to inspire her, as she eagled the par fifth and sank four birdies.

It gave Ko a share of the lead, with the 21-year-old alongside the quartet of Jessica Korda, Caroline Hedwall, In-Kyung Kim and Su Oh.

"This is a golf course where you need to drive the ball well and putt well," said Ko.

"It's nice to come back to a place where you feel super-welcomed.

"It just brings back a lot of great memories. My family and friends are here this week, so I'm hoping that I'm going to continue the solid play."

The USA’s Korda mirrored Ko’s round with an eagle on the fifth and four birdies, while Hedwall and Kim each sank five birdies. Oh was the only one of the co-leaders to enjoy a blemish free round.

The quartet of Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull and Celine Herbin are just one adrift of the leaders after all shot a 69.

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