1 Apr 2017

Ko in the mix at LPGA major

3:56 pm on 1 April 2017

World No.1 golfer Lydia Ko and the rival gunning to take over her top ranking are among a group of players tied 11th, just three shots off the pace at the first LPGA major of the year.

Lydia Ko.

Lydia Ko. Photo: Photosport

Ko and world No.2 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand are tied for 11th at four-under after two rounds at the ANA Inspiration in California.

Jutanugarn can take the number one world ranking off Ko this weekend if she wins the tournament.

Defending champion Ko was among a host of players that had to complete their first rounds early on Saturday after strong winds forced an early finish to play yesterday.

Ko completed her opening round this morning, two under par and backed that up with another round of 70.

A birdie on the par-five 18th gave Norway's two-times major champion Suzann Petersen the sole lead after her second round at the ANA Inspiration.

Australia's Minji Lee is just one shot off the pace after firing a four-under 68 to be six-under, after two bogey-free rounds in Rancho Mirage, California.

Teenager Nelly Korda, two-times major winner Cristie Kerr and seven-times major champion Inbee Park, of Korea, are level with Lee after completing their rounds.

Overnight leader Karine Icher and Sung Hyun Park are also at six-under early in their second rounds of the weather-affected tournament while a host of other players have only just commenced round two.

Meanwhile, New Zealand golfer Danny Lee has climbed up the leaderboard at the Houston Open, his second round of 3 under par 69 has him tied for 11th.

South Korea's Sung Kang threatened to leave a world-class field trailing in his wake after a brilliant second round at the Houston Open put him six shots clear at the half way mark.

Kang carded seven birdies and an eagle to tie the course record of 63 at the Golf Club of Houston and set a new 36-hole tournament record of 16-under par.

Americans Hudson Swafford and Russell Henley carded consecutive rounds of 67 to be joint second at 10-under with overnight leader Rickie Fowler carding a 71 to be alone in fourth at nine-under.

Kang, and numerous others in the field, must win in Houston to secure a place at next week's Masters.

Kang is ranked No.202 in the world and had missed the cut in five of his nine PGA Tour events in 2017 but demonstrated he was capable of low scores with a second-round 60 in last year's Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

A number of Masters contenders missed the cut including Australian world No.7 Adam Scott, world No.5 Henrik Stenson, and world No.6 Jordan Spieth.