Lydia Ko cuts a dash and extends her stay at the Women’s Open

It is futile to ask Lydia Ko what her next decade in competitive golf might hold. The New Zealander, who has crammed an incredible amount into her 23 years, still plans to retire at 30.

“A lot of the other players I talk to say: ‘You’ll get to that age and think there is nothing better than this and keep playing,’” Ko said.

“I’d like to finish my degree in psychology and do a few more other things. But golf has been great to me so I can’t completely leave it.”

Whether or not Ko reconsiders remains to be seen. What is clear is that this golfer, who reached No 1 in the world at 17 and won two majors before encountering all manner of struggles, is on the way back. She could emphasise that by winning the Women’s Open, with a second round of 71 at Royal Troon placing her firmly in contention. Ko is one over par at the halfway point.

Quick guide

Dustin Johnson shoots second-round 60 in Boston



Dustin Johnson took a two-shot lead in the Northern Trust at TPC Boston with a second round 60.

Johnson fired five birdies and two eagles in an outward nine of 27 to place Jim Furyk’s 58 at the 2016 Travelers Championship – the lowest score in PGA Tour history – under threat.

The 36-year-old picked up further shots at the 10th and 11th, but that was the end of the birdie blitz in the first FedEx Cup play-off event as his hopes of a sub-60 round disappeared.

“I got off to a great start and through the first five or six holes I played really good, made some really nice putts,” Johnson told Sky Sports.
“When I made the turn with birdies at 10 and 11, you’re definitely thinking about shooting 59. I tried to keep playing one shot at a time, I knew I was swinging well so I just tried to keep giving myself looks.

“I had some looks coming down the stretch but I couldn’t get one to go. But I’m still happy with the way I played and I’m in a good position leading into the weekend.”

Former US Open champion Johnson would have become the 13th player to break 60 on the PGA Tour with a birdie at the 18th, but an errant drive cost him dear.

He had to lay up and his approach shot came up 15 feet short, with the birdie putt for 59 missing to the left.

Incredibly, Johnson’s round was not the best of the day as his fellow American Scottie Scheffler carded 12 birdies and no bogeys on the par-71 layout.Scheffler’s 59 left him on 13 under par with Australian Cameron Davis and two behind halfway leader Johnson. It was the first time in PGA Tour history that two rounds of 60 or lower had been shot on the same day.

Photograph: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America

“I don’t know where my career is going to go,” she said. “I think at one point I was comparing myself to when I was world No 1 but physically and mentally so many things have happened that I can never be that same person as I was a few years ago. I just have to be the best person and best golfer I can be right now. As long as I am playing out there aggressively and freely and playing happy, confident golf, then I feel I can do well.”

Ko missed the cut at last year’s Women’s Open after rounds of 76 and 80. “To say I wasn’t aware of people wondering what had happened to me would be a lie,” she admitted. This appeared to be a story of continual decline, whereby a teenage phenomenon had become just another player. There have instead been traces of renaissance.

A painful double bogey at the 72nd hole cost Ko victory at the Marathon Classic in Ohio only a fortnight ago. She arrived in the UK high on confidence, with a tie for 12th in the Scottish Open a useful precursor to Troon. “The main thing is that I am playing with belief in myself,” she said. “I am playing with commitment rather than thinking about the result.”

Ko is now coached by Sean Foley, who counts Tiger Woods and Justin Rose among previous pupils. “We haven’t done a lot in the technical sense,” she explained. “I have been asking him a lot of things about trying to get some of the question marks in my head taken away and sometimes I think that’s more important than working on positions in the swing. We are trying to get to a point where I can swing freely and not to think about it.

“Sean says that I should try to dig a little hole, throw all my crap in there, then chuck some sand over it and then just walk away. That’s the position we are trying to get towards.”

Quick guide

AIG Women’s Open second-round leaderboard



Players that made the cut:  

1st (-1) Daniela Holmqvist (Swe) 71 70
2nd (Evens) Austin Ernst (USA) 72 70, Sophia Popov (Ger) 70 72
4th (+1) Jasmine Suwannapura (Tha) 71 72, Emily K Pedersen (Den) 71 72, Lindsey Weaver (USA) 71 72, Minjee Lee (Aus) 74 69, Lydia Ko (Nzl) 72 71
9th (+2) Nelly Korda (USA) 72 72, Haru Nomura (Jpn) 74 70
11th (+3) Yealimi Noh (USA) 72 73, Nuria Iturrios (Spa) 71 74, Anna Nordqvist (Swe) 71 74, Alena Sharp (Can) 71 74, Lee-Anne Pace (Rsa) 71 74, Megan Khang (USA) 75 70
17th (+4) Caroline Inglis (USA) 75 71, Elizabeth Szokol (USA) 72 74, Caroline Masson (Ger) 72 74, Inbee Park (Kor) 77 69
21st (+5) Ariya Jutanugarn (Tha) 73 74, Andrea Lee (USA) 74 73, Catriona Matthew (Sco) 71 76, Mi Hyang Lee (Kor) 76 71, In Gee Chun (Kor) 72 75, Ashleigh Buhai (Rsa) 74 73, Kristen Gillman (USA) 75 72, Cydney Clanton (USA) 74 73, Becky Morgan (Wal) 74 73, Angela Stanford (USA) 73 74, Hannah Green (Aus) 75 72, Lizette Salas (USA) 73 74
33rd (+6) Jodi Ewart Shadoff 73 75, Jennifer Song (USA) 74 74, Amy Olson (USA) 67 81, Dana Finkelstein (USA) 77 71, Maria Torres (Pue) 76 72, Johanna Gustavsson (Swe) 73 75, Sandra Gal (Ger) 74 74
40th (+7) Marina Alex (USA) 70 79, Georgia Hall (Eng) 73 76, Azahara Munoz (Spa) 74 75, Angel Yin (USA) 75 74, Amy Yang (Kor) 73 76, Brittany Altomare (USA) 77 72, Ally McDonald (USA) 74 75, Perrine Delacour (Fra) 75 74, Celine Herbin (Fra) 74 75, Anne Van Dam (Ned) 77 72, Katherine Kirk (Aus) 72 77, Alison Lee (USA) 72 77
52nd (+8) Felicity Johnson (Eng) 76 74, Emma Talley (USA) 77 73, Stephanie Meadow (NI) 75 75, Julieta Granada (Pry) 77 73, Michele Thomson (Sco) 73 77, Jenny Shin (USA) 77 73, Momoko Ueda (Jpn) 75 75, Moriya Jutanugarn (Tha) 77 73, Pernilla Lindberg (Swe) 75 75, Danielle Kang (USA) 76 74, Bronte Law (Eng) 80 70, Jing Yan (Chn) 77 73
64th (+9) Stephanie Kyriacou (Aus) 73 78, Dottie Ardina (Phl) 78 73, Morgan Pressel (USA) 77 74, Melissa Reid (Eng) 78 73, Sarah-Jane Smith (Aus) 78 73, Nasa Hataoka (Jpn) 74 77, Camilla Lennarth (Swe) 75 76, Carlota Ciganda (Spa) 77 74, Gaby Lopez (Mex) 71 80, Cheyenne Knight (USA) 76 75, Laura Fuenfstueck (Ger) 73 78

Lexi Thompson’s 11-over total meant she comprehensively missed the cut. Thompson escaped sanction despite some dubious gardening work carried out around her ball on the 16th during the first round. “Following a discussion between chief referee David Rickman and the player prior to her signing her scorecard it was determined that, although the player had moved a growing natural object behind her ball, it had returned to its original position,” said a statement from the R&A. “The lie of the ball was not improved and there was no breach of Rule 8.1.” The TV footage did not appear to reflect well on Thompson.

Amy Olson, the first-round leader from the US, slumped to a disastrous second round of 81 for a six-over total. At one under par, Sweden’s Dani Holmqvist has claimed the lead.

Related posts

Payne: Chevy Suburban takes the school bus to another level



New VW electric SUV has spacious, modern interior, company says


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More