Lydia Ko set to challenge for LPGA major crown

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 12:21 16/08/2014
Lydia Ko
Getty
IN THE ZONE: Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko is in a strong position to challenge for her first major title after an impressive day at the LPGA Championship in New York.

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Lydia Ko is in contention for her first major, remaining four off the lead at the LPGA Championship in New York.

However, it has emerged the 17-year-old New Zealander is nursing an injured wrist heading in to a potentially historic 48 hours.

This morning (NZT) Ko posted a three-under par 69 at the Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, New York, to keep pace with American leader Brittany Lincicome halfway through the tournament.

As with yesterday's first round, Ko was dogged by three bogeys - including two in the first four holes, but managed to shrug them off to go one shot better than yesterday to move from tied 16th overnight to tied fourth.

With rain making the greens soft and conducive to scoring, Ko was largely excellent from tee to green - hitting every fairway and missing just three greens.

Had it not been for an unusual day with the flat stick, needing 31 putts to get home, Ko could easily have closed in on the lead this morning, but as it is, the Aucklander is still well placed for the last two rounds.

The only concern is Ko revealing she is playing with a sore left wrist and is having it strapped for play. Ko did say in a post-round press conference that it was less painful today than yesterday.

"It definitely feels much better today," Ko said. "I felt much less pain than when I was on the range, because I got it taped up, and that's been supporting my wrist," she said.

Victory come Monday (NZT) would see Ko installed as golf's youngest-ever major champion and world number one.

With Ko on five-under par after two rounds, Lincicome leads on nine-under and has a three-shot lead over former world number one Inbee Park and 19-year-old Lexi Thompson.

Park posted the lowest round of the day today with 66 moving in to a tie for second with overnight leader Thompson, who struggled a bit to 72 in her second round.

One more shot behind are Ko, American Jane Park and Meena Lee while world number one Stacy Lewis lost further ground today and is in a tie for 33rd.

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