Lydia Ko firms lead for biggest prize in women’s golf history at LPGA finale

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The 25-year-old turned a one-shot lead into a five-shot edge as she chased down the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize.
Posted on
November 19, 2022
The Editorial Team in ,
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Lydia Ko consolidated her lead at the halfway mark of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship after shooting the day’s best score of 66.

The 25-year-old turned a one-shot lead into a five-shot edge as she also chased down the two-million-dollar (£1.6million) prize for LPGA Tour player of the year.

The New Zealander was five strokes ahead of South Korea’s Hyo Joo Jim at 13 under at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida, on a day where she collected four birdies during a six-hole run.

“I think I stayed really patient out there today. Obviously not bogeying the first was a better start than yesterday,” said the New Zealander. “But, with the wind direction being pretty similar and the strength being similar, I felt like I already knew going into the day that it could be tricky, but at the same time because I played really solid on the back nine, I knew that if I did make any mistakes, there were birdie-able holes coming in.”

This is the eighteen-time LPGA Tour winner's 11th time holding the 36-hole lead on Tour. She went on to win four of those events, including this past February at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. A victory would earn Ko her second Rolex Player of the Year honors, second consecutive Vare Trophy and a $2 million winner’s check, the largest in women’s golf, but she said she is focused on just playing footloose and fancy-free with two rounds left.

“That's kind of the goal for me this week is to not let one hole or one shot phase me. This is the last tournament of the season. It's my ninth year on Tour, so I want to finish the season well and also just want to finish it without any regrets,” said Ko. “You know, just playing freely out there. I think that's a big key for me.”

The second round was played the same day the Tour announced LPGA players will compete for a record 101.4million US dollars (£85million) next season.

Hyo Joo Kim lies in solo second place at 8-under, after carding a 69. She has recorded four top-five finishes in her past eight events, dating back to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Kim will play in the final group with friend Ko on Saturday.

“I think when I play with someone who I'm close to, it will definitely be more fun,” said Kim. “And if I'm playing with a player who is playing well, I think I can follow that rhythm and also play well. So hopefully that's going to be the case tomorrow.”

Four players sit are tied in third place at 7-under, including World No. 1 Nelly Korda.

“I've played in windier conditions. I've played in British where it's been tougher where you can't even get the ball in the air because it just takes it a mile,” said the Florida native. “Over the years you play in these conditions, the more you learn. I've grown up out here, so yeah.”

Ireland’s Leona Maguire shot a second-straight 69 to be seven off the pace at six under, saying of the leader: “Lydia is Lydia.”

“I’m sure she’s going to keep going, so ultimately try and shoot as low as we can over the weekend and see what happens,” the 27-year-old added.

England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff was at five under, followed a shot back by countrywoman Georgia Hall while Charley Hull had a double-bogey and six bogeys for her 78 to be at five over at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Defending champion Jin Young Ko is tied for 49th at 4-over after a 3-over 75 on Friday, in a round that included two double bogeys on No. 2 and 15.

Pos.PlayerTo ParScoresTotal
1Lydia Ko-1365-66131
2Hyo Joo Kim-867-69136
T3Nasa Hataoka-770-67137
T3Anna Nordqvist-768-69137
T3Nelly Korda-768-69137
T3Gemma Dryburgh-767-70137
T7Jeongeun Lee6-670-68138
T7Leona Maguire-669-69138
T7Amy Yang-668-70138
T10Jodi Ewart Shadoff-572-67139
T10A Lim Kim-572-67139
T10Minjee Lee-571-68139
T10Matilda Castren-570-69139
T10Lizette Salas-570-69139
T10Stacy Lewis-569-70139
T10Sophia Schubert-568-71139
T10Pajaree Anannarukarn-566-73139
T18Atthaya Thitikul-473-67140
T18Georgia Hall-471-69140
T18Megan Khang-468-72140
T18Danielle Kang-466-74140
T22Ayaka Furue-372-69141
T22Moriya Jutanugarn-371-70141
T22Gaby Lopez-371-70141
T22Madelene Sagstrom-371-70141
T26Maja Stark-274-68142
T26In Gee Chun-274-68142
T26Marina Alex-273-69142
T26Xiyu Janet Lin-273-69142
T26Caroline Masson-272-70142
T26Ally Ewing-271-71142
T26Allisen Corpuz-271-71142
T26Celine Boutier-271-71142
T26Sarah Schmelzel-270-72142
T26Narin An-270-72142
T26Sei Young Kim-268-74142
T26Brooke M. Henderson-268-74142
T38Alison Lee-171-72143
T38Paula Reto-171-72143
T38Lilia Vu-170-73143
T38Andrea Lee-170-73143
T42Chella ChoiPar73-71144
T42Cheyenne KnightPar73-71144
T42Jennifer KupchoPar73-71144
T45Hinako Shibuno+174-71145
T45Hannah Green+174-71145
T45Nanna Koerstz Madsen+173-72145
T45Mina Harigae+171-74145
T49Ariya Jutanugarn+374-73147
T49Jin Young Ko+372-75147
T51Ryann O'Toole+478-70148
T51Ashleigh Buhai+477-71148
T51Carlota Ciganda+475-73148
T51Hye-Jin Choi+475-73148
T51Lexi Thompson+474-74148
T51Eun-Hee Ji+472-76148
T57Pornanong Phatlum+576-73149
T57Charley Hull+571-78149
T59Patty Tavatanakit+878-74152
T59Yuka Saso+875-77152
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CME Group Tour Championship 2022

Date: November 17th - 20th 2022

Location: Tiburón Golf Club, Gold Course, Naples, Florida

Purse: $7,000,000

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