17 Oct 2015

Ko surges into lead following flawless round

8:31 am on 17 October 2015

The New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko will take a one shot lead into today's third round of the latest LPGA tour event in South Korea after storming back from seven shots down.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand at the LPGA tour event in South Korea. 2015.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand at the LPGA tour event in South Korea. 2015. Photo: Getty Images

The world No 2 Ko carded a flawless, seven birdie, bogey free second round seven under par 65 to move to 10-under for the tournament, one shot ahead of American Lexi Thompson.

A win would boost her chances of usurping In-bee Park at the top of the women's world rankings.

The 18-year-old New Zealander, the youngest woman to win a major, trailed overnight leader Sung-hyun Park by seven strokes at the start of the second round.

"When a player shoots 10-under, seven-under, eight-under, whatever, they had a great day and all you can do is play good golf yourself and just think about it one shot at a time and see the closer you are to the leader, or if you're leading, the earlier, the better," she told reporters in Incheon.

"Because if you are leading, you've got time where you can expand the lead and give yourself a little bit of breathing room."

"I put myself in good position but the weekend is where they say people try to go up the leaderboard. I'm just going to focus on one shot at a time and on my game, because I know there's going to be a lot of great golf from a lot of great players."

Ko was in the same playing group as In-bee Park, who is tied for 25th place at three-under, and could reclaim the top ranking from her South Korean rival with a victory this week after two wins and a runner-up finish in her last three starts.

"I don't think about the rankings or if one birdie is going to put me a couple shots in front of her," said Ko, who claimed her maiden major title at The Evian Championship in France last month.

"I feel very fortunate that there is a great competitor like her where I can work harder and be as good as her or get to that ranking.

"But when we're out there, we are not thinking about it. I think for the crowds and for the media, it makes it really exciting when everything is close."

First-round leader Park Sung-hyun struggled in the second round and frittered away her four-shot lead by posting a 74 for a share of third-place alongside Cho Yoon-ji at eight-under.