Top-ranked Jin Young Ko takes lead in LPGA Tour finale

Top-ranked Jin Young Ko takes lead in LPGA Tour finale

NAPLES, Fla. — Top-ranked Jin Young Ko took the lead into the weekend in the LPGA Tour’s CME Group Tour Championship, putting herself in position to win the season money title in only four events.

Ko shot a 5-under 67 on Friday in chilly and breezy conditions at Tiburon Golf Club to take a one-stroke lead over defending champion Sei Young Kim and 2018 winner Lexi Thompson in the season-ending event.

“Before when I play in KLPGA it was really cold, so I hate cold weather to play golf, but right now I love it,” said Ko, who spent most of the season in South Korea.

The $1.1 million winner’s prize, down from $1.5 million last year, is the richest in women’s golf. Ko is 13th on the money list with $567,925. Inbee Park is the leader with $1,365,138, and Kim second with $1,207,438. Ko also is trying to hold off No. 2 Kim in the world ranking.

“If play good I can do world ranking No. 1 still,” Ko said. “But if not and then she plays good, she can do. Doesn’t matter really.”

Coming off a second-place tie last week in Houston in the U.S. Women’s Open, Ko birdied three of four par-5 holes in a bogey-free round to reach 9 under.

“I want bogey-free round next two days,” Ko said. “I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

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

“Feel very solid in the morning because we got the strong wind,” Kim said. “My shot really solid. … I’m very looking forward this weekend. Really exciting to chase the world ranking No. 1.”

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

“It was different conditions today of course with the cooler weather in the morning,” Thompson said. “I would say overall it was a lot breezier throughout the day. … Wasn’t as good as yesterday of course, but overall happy and going to take the positives into the next two days.”

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

Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., bounced back from an opening-round 73 with a 68 to get to 3 under. Hamilton’s Alena Sharp fired 73-76 and is 5 over heading into the weekend.

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

“I just wanted to play the best golf I can and not really think about my position and all that,” the New Zealander said. “I think that definitely helped, and I was able to do that pretty well.”

Race to CME Globe leader Park was tied for 20th at 2 under after her second 71. Second-place Danielle Kang, playing alongside Park and Kim, was tied for 47th at 2 over after a 75. Kim. Kang led the points race since back-to-back wins in Ohio until Park took over the lead last week.

Tiburon was the site of the PGA Tour’s QBE Shootout last week. In a normal year, the CME Group Tour Championship is held before Thanksgiving.

The Associated Press

Golf

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Advocate staff)
AHS granted injunction against café and event organizers

AHS receives court order against all other organizers of illegal COVID-19 gatherings and rallies

Kris Sturgess with Calgary Ghostbusters. (Photo from GoFundMe)
GoFundMe account salutes Red Deer prop builder

Kris Sturgess died unexpectedly April 28

If you're heading out to the West Country have a plan in case things go wrong, says Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services fire chief Steve Debienne.
(Photo from CRFRS Facebook)
West Country visitors should have an emergency plan: regional fire chief

Cellphones can’t be relied on in many back country areas

Rode
Sarcevic leads an impressive list of additions to RDC Kings soccer

In 2019 the RDC Kings soccer program took a major step forward… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services locked the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror on Wednesday morning after owner Christopher Scott refused to comply with health orders. (Photo by Paul Cowley/Advocate staff)
UPDATED: AHS shuts down Whistle Stop Cafe for defying health orders

Justice minister promises to get tough with those ignoring public health orders

LtE bug
Letter: Security company can help with shelter

Why don’t we leave Safe Harbour temporary shelter where it is and… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Good job on K-6 curriculum

Many are questioning the quality of the draft K-6 curriculum. It amazes… Continue reading

Treena Mielke
COVID becomes all too real when someone you love is ‘positive’

The third wave of the pandemic is hitting us hard. It is… Continue reading

Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Toronto playoff bid nearly over

Wizards beat Raptors in OT, Toronto playoff bid nearly over

Toronto Blue Jays' Teoscar Hernandez (37) hits a single to drive in two runs against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Grichuk drives in 5, Jays beat A’s 10-4 for series split

Grichuk drives in 5, Jays beat A’s 10-4 for series split

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame 2019 inductee Jayna Hefford speaks in Toronto on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Three Canadian teams to play in women’s hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

Three Canadian teams to play in women’s hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

Rugby Canada says some members of women’s sevens team have tested positive for COVID

Rugby Canada says some members of women’s sevens team have tested positive for COVID

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson, centre, makes a shot as lead Briane Meilleur, left, and second Shannon Birchard sweep against Denmark at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, May 6, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Einarson’s five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

Einarson’s five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

Most Read