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Lydia Ko bounces back at KPMG Women's PGA

Ko moves into contention with superb second round. (Photo: Bruce Young)
So Yeon Ryu, Brooke Henderson and Sung Hyun Park share the halfway lead at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club near Chicago, the trio one shot ahead of Spain’s Carlota Ciganda.

New Zealander Lydia Ko, however has thrown out signals that she is ready to contend for major championships again with a second round 66, the best of the day by two and is just two from the lead.

All three of the leaders have won major championships and, given the start they have made this week, appear to be genuine chances to add another to their respective career records.

Ryu talked about the contrast between the two rounds although the scores were identical.

“I think golf is definitely a funny game because yesterday I thought I hit it just really, really perfect, like I just couldn't ask more, and then I shot 3-under. And then compared to yesterday, I felt like I absolutely hit it everywhere out there but still shot 3-under.

“That was really good learning. You don't have to be perfect to shoot 3-under. So I think that attitude could really, really help to playing really well for next weekend, as well."

Henderson won this event two years ago and after her round talked abut the importance of having been there and done that in terms of her ongoing chances this week.

“Yeah, it gives me a lot of confidence, and I don't really get the question when are you going to win a major because I've already done it, and I feel like a lot of pressure is off that way.

“Just in moments when I'm making putts and when I'm at major championships, I just feel a little bit more relaxed and calmer just because I know I've been in this position before and I've been able to succeed doing it.”

Ko, who has herself won two major championships, continued her recent improvement with the round of 66 and is biting at the ankles of the leaders.

The 22 year old New Zealander was focused initially on just making the cut today after her round of 74 yesterday but an outward nine of 32 has her now chasing loftier goals.

“I think that was kind of the goal coming into today because I just couldn't roll anything. I tried to take small goals, small steps, and I think those few birdies in the front nine definitely helped with the confidence. I tried to think small and not get too ahead of myself.”

Ko is tied for 5th with Annie Park and Moriya Jutanugarn.

Minjee Lee and Sarah Jane Smith are the leading Australians in 36th place although Minjee Lee will be bitterly disappointed with her round of 76 after being right in the hunt after day one. The West Australian was on the back foot early and was unable to recover.

Smith bogeyed her final hole for an even par round of 72 after recovering from a slow start but she is well enough placed at 1 over and seven shots from the lead.

Karrie Webb also struggled on day two and like Lee recorded a round of 76 after a promising start on day one. The 2001 champion of this event has made the cut however and is in 54th place.

Su Oh, Hannah Green, Rebecca Artis and Wendy Doolan all missed the cut.  



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