LPGA CHAMPIONSHIP: KO REMAINS IN CONTENTION IN NEW YORK

16/08/2014

World No.2 Lydia Ko is in contention at the halfway stage of the LPGA Championship in New York.

 

The 17-year-old, who has already won two titles in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, has carded a three-under par 69 in round two at the Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford to be only four shots back in the year’s fourth major.

 

Ko has carded rounds of 70 and 69 for a five-under par total to be in a share of fourth place as she looks to become the youngest major champion in golf history.

She will begin the third round chasing leader American Brittney Lincicome who leads by three shots on a nine-under par total.

But the Pinehurst School Student isn’t getting ahead of herself as she tries to become the first Kiwi woman to win a major championship.

“For me I think about winning at the end of the week,” she told the LPGA Tour.

“I know especially like Toledo [where she won the Marathon Classic] I realised I became a millionaire after that. I mean, to kind of have those accomplishments is really cool, but I’m really going out there and trying to play the best I can.

“It’s hard to control what I do, but to control what other people are doing is pretty much impossible.”

Ko has made the seemingly impossible look very achievable. Making history has been part of her journey to the top of the world golf rankings.

She is the only player in LPGA Tour history to win two events as an amateur, the youngest to win an event (15 years, 4 months, 2 days) and she became the youngest player to reach $1 million in career earnings in her rookie season (17 years, 2 months, 26 days).

Ko’s best finish as an amateur in a major remains her finishing runner-up at the Evian Championship in France last year and her best result in the majors as a professional is a tie for 15th which she achieved at this year’s US Open.

If she can get over the line this week, Ko will be 17 years, 3 months, and 24 days on Sunday and the youngest major champion in the history of golf.

If Ko can achieve her first major title this week, she will become the World No.1 as long as Stacy Lewis doesn’t finish solo second in the event. The American is currently tied 33rd after rounds of 71 and 73.

Meanwhile on the PGA Tour, Danny Lee has missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship.

The 24-year-old Rotorua professional signed for rounds of 73 and 70 at the Sedgefield Country Club in North Carolina to miss the weekend action by five strokes.

Lee is projected to slip to 115 on the Fed Ex Cup Standings which will see him, alongside compatriot Tim Wilkinson, in the first event of the Fed Ex Playoffs at The Barclays next week.

Closer to home in Fiji, Hamilton professional David Smail is the best of the Kiwis heading into the final round of the inaugural, $1m (US) Fiji International.

The Japan Tour Pro carded a five-under par 67 in round three at the Natadola Golf Club to climb to a two-under par total and a share of eighth place.

The 44-year-old, who has played for 14 consecutive years in Japan, will begin the final round six shots back from Australians Steven Jeffress (69) and Jake Higginbottom (71) who lead on an eight-under par total.

Auckland professional Ryan Fox, who has enjoyed success in Fiji, winning titles there in the past two years, had a two-under par 70 in round three to be a further shot back in a share of ninth place.

 

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    OOM LEADERBOARD

    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Kobori, Kazuma 144.73
    2 Lee, Jang Hyun 126.40
    3 Wood, Tyler 96.00
    4 Brown, Luke 94.40
    5 Hillier, Daniel 92.00
    RANK PLAYER SCORE
    1 Khoo, Caryn 113.33
    2 Lee, Jeong Hyun 103.20
    3 Dryland, Brittney 91.91
    4 Lim, Carmen 87.47
    5 Lee, Danika 70.82