Lydia Ko struggles again, ties for 51st in ANA Inspiration

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) Lydia Ko figured, if nothing else, she got a lot of practice out of the thick rough in the ANA Inspiration.

''I think I've learned a lot how to play rough shots,'' the top-ranked Ko said Sunday. ''That is one of the biggest things I've learned this week - and it was tough. It was really thick. So, I was learning something there. It was really good experience.

''It's my third year of playing this event. It's a really good course. ... You really need your `A' game and I really didn't have that this week.''

The 17-year-old New Zealander closed with a 1-over 73 - her third straight over-par round after tying Annika Sorenstam's LPGA Tour record for consecutive rounds under par at 29. Ko finished at 3 over in a tie for 51st, the third-worst result of her tour career.

''It was a lot of grinding,'' Ko said. ''I think it was a lot of mental experience for me this week, how to get myself out of bad positions and try to put myself in good positions.

Ko had two other long streaks end. She entered the tournament with 10 straight top-10 finishes and had finished under par in 17 events in a row. The teen still has never missed a cut and has made at least one birdie in all 188 rounds in her 49-event LPGA Tour career.

The event was her sixth in seven weeks, with stops in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Phoenix and Carlsbad. She won in Australia for her sixth LPGA Tour title and took the Ladies European Tour event in New Zealand the following week.

She's taking two weeks off before her title defense in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.

''I've got two weeks off,'' Ko said. ''I'm going to take a good break and just enjoy that and be excited for my next one in San Francisco.''

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