Top-ranked Ko takes lead at LPGA Tour finale

Dec 18, 2020

  • Associated Press

NAPLES, Fla. — High-ranked Jin Younger Ko took the lead into the weekend within the LPGA Tour’s CME Team Tour Championship, striking herself in tell to remove the season money title in most attention-grabbing four events.

Ko shot a 5-under 67 on Friday in chilly and breezy circumstances at Tiburon Golf Membership to remove a one-stroke lead over defending champion Sei Younger Kim and 2018 winner Lexi Thompson within the season-ending tournament.

“Earlier than after I play in KLPGA, it turned into if truth be told chilly, so I abominate chilly weather to play golf, however appropriate now I esteem it,” stated Ko, who spent a lot of the season in South Korea.

The $1.1 million winner’s prize, down from $1.5 million closing year, is the richest in females’s golf. Ko is 13th on the money list with $567,925. Inbee Park is the chief with $1,365,138, and Kim 2d with $1,207,438. Ko additionally is making an strive to build at bay No. 2 Kim on the earth ranking.

“If play trusty I will assemble world ranking No. 1 unexcited,” Ko stated. “Nonetheless if now not and then she performs trusty, she will be able to assemble. Would not topic if truth be told.”

Coming off a 2d-tell tie closing week in Houston within the U.S. Females’s Open, Ko birdied three of four par-5 holes in a bogey-free round to be successful in 9 under.

“I desire bogey-free round subsequent two days,” Ko stated. “I am wanting ahead to the weekend.”

Kim had a 69. She has two victories this season.

“Feel very sturdy within the morning on chronicle of we got the sturdy wind,” Kim stated. “My shot if truth be told sturdy. … I am very wanting ahead this weekend. Really thrilling to scramble the realm ranking No. 1.”

Thompson, the first-round chief after a 65, had two late birdies in a 71.

“It turned into diversified circumstances right this moment time finally with the cooler weather within the morning,” Thompson stated. “I would say overall it turned into plenty breezier at some stage within the day. … Wasn’t as trusty as the day gone by finally, however overall delighted and going to remove the positives into the following two days.”

Nelly Korda (66) turned into three strokes abet at 6 under with Cydney Clanton (68), Austin Ernst (69), Georgia Hall (69), Megan Khang (71) and Caroline Masson (71).

Lydia Ko turned into 5 under, following a 74 with a bogey-free 65.

“I appropriate wanted to play the supreme golf I will and now not if truth be told take into chronicle my tell and all that,” the Original Zealander stated. “I agree with that positively helped, and I turned into ready to assemble that swish principal.”

Scramble to CME Globe chief Park turned into tied for 20th at 2 under after her 2d 71. 2d-tell Danielle Kang, playing alongside Park and Kim, turned into tied for 47th at 2 over after a 75. Kim. Kang led the components move since abet-to-abet wins in Ohio till Park took over the lead closing week.

Tiburon turned into the house of the PGA Tour’s QBE Shootout closing week. In an everyday year, the CME Team Tour Championship is held prior to Thanksgiving.

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