World number one Ko will not be staying at Olympic Village

Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:54am EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

WOBURN, England (Reuters) - Lydia Ko says she is "super excited" at the prospect of competing in her first Olympics next month although the women's world number one has decided against living at the Games village in Rio de Janeiro.

Golf is returning to the Games for the first time since 1904 but the 19-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander wants to keep things as normal as possible for the 72-hole strokeplay competition in Brazil.

"I've been excited about the Olympics since they announced it," Ko told Reuters in an interview after a rousing three-under-par 69 sent her sprinting through the field in the third round of the Ricoh Women's British Open on Saturday.

"Now that it's around the corner in a couple of weeks my heart is pounding.

"I was always going to stay outside of the village. I'd love to stay in the village and get to meet other New Zealand athletes but, no, I've decided to stay out so I can keep similar routines to when I play these kind of events (at Woburn)."

Double major winner Ko will be living at a hotel with her family, coach and New Zealand golf officials.

The teenager loves home cooking and staying outside the Olympic Village will help her to maintain the same sort of lifestyle she has during regular tour events.

"I feel like I should try and not change my routines that much," said Ko. "I'm staying with my sisters so I should be in a similar atmosphere off the course -- I feel that would be a good way to go.   Continued...

Britain Golf - RICOH Women's British Open 2016 - Woburn Golf & Country Club, England - 28/7/16
New Zealand's Lydia Ko during the first round
Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Andrew Couldridge