World No.2 Lydia Ko is in contention to win her fourth title on the LPGA Tour.


The 17-year-old has shot consecutive rounds of four-under par 67 at the Highlands Meadow Golf Club to be in a share of second place at the halfway stage of the Marathon Classic.


Ko will begin tomorrow’s third round three shots back from American Laura Diaz who backed up her nine-under par 62 with a two-under par 69 to remain out in front.

The two-time Canadian Open champion made five birdies and a bogey in her 67 which was good enough for her to grab a share of the lead for a short time before the overnight leader Diaz birdied three of her final four holes.

“I’ve had two solid rounds,” said Ko. “I played pretty solid today and yesterday. Hopefully I can continue that through the weekend.”

The youngest winner in LPGA Tour history is looking to become the youngest player to claim the World No.1 position on the Official World Golf Rankings and the first Kiwi to claim that mantle.

She again impressed with her composure in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour where she is third on the Race To CME Globe points list.

“I try and be calm. You know, that’s what you have to do. I guess being overly happy or overly angry, that’s not going to help me. That’s what I think, so I try and stay calm.”

Ko believed that if she continues playing like she has in the first two rounds then she should be in the hunt to claim her second title on the LPGA Tour in 2014.

“Hopefully I can hit the ball like I did today and make some putts. If I play like I did the last few days, I think I’ll be in a good position.”

Also in a good position is Hamilton professional Steven Alker on the Web.Com Tour.

The 42-year-old, who earlier this year survived an 11-hole playoff to claim the Cleveland Open, his second title on the Web.Com Tour in two years, is also in contention to claim his second title of the season.

The former NZ PGA Champion has opened with rounds of 62 and 66 at the Albertsons Boise Open in Idaho to be in third place, only one stroke behind American leaders Bill Lunde (61) and Zach Sucher (67).

Alker birdied two of the last five holes at the Hillcrest Country Club and will look to advance his chances of joining the PGA Tour in 2014 – 2015.

The Kiwi, who recently qualified for the US Open Championship and missed the cut at Pinehurst, is currently in 19th place on the Web.Com Tour Order of Merit and needs to finish inside the top 25 to earn his card on the PGA Tour.

Alker deserves a good break. In 2013 he finished in 26th place on the Web.Com Tour money-list, missing a place on the game’s most lucrative tour by only US$1200.



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