Lydia Ko delivered a clear message to her LPGA Tour rivals on Friday.
She is having fun again and is ready to start winning again.
The 20-year-old New Zealander shot an eight-under 64 and grabbed a share of the lead with Lexi Thompson at 15-under 129 with a round left in the Indy Women in Tech Championship.
If Ko puts together one more solid round, she could finally pick up her first win since July last year.
“I know I’ve still got a whole, full 18 holes tomorrow to go, but I think really the key was that I’ve just kind of enjoyed being in this position and being able to hit some good shots and give myself some good looks at birdie,” Ko said. “When you start doing that, it builds your confidence and you’re not dwelling on: ‘Hey, am I going to hit a good shot or a bad shot.’ I think that’s kind of the mindset that I’ve kind of gotten into the last few months.”
Thompson followed her opening 63 with a 66.
The 22-year-old Florida player closed out the front nine with three birdies on the final four holes then adding birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 to tie Ko.
However, Thompson’s birdie putt at No. 16 missed just to the left of the hole and she wound up scrambling for par on the final two holes when her approaches went through the greens.
Taiwan’s Candie Kung made nine birdies and shot a 64 to reach 14 under.
“Luckily, I was able to hit some really close ones and have some three footers and five footers for birdies and I pretty much made all of them except the last one,” Kung said.
Her compatriot Chien Pei-yun shot a 73 to be on 140 overall and in a share of 39th.
Taiwan’s Min Lee, Yani Tseng, Hsu Wei-ling and Cheng Ssu-chia missed the cut.
Ashleigh Buhai was fourth at 11-under after a 66, while Cristie Kerr (67) and Amy Olson (68) were at 10-under.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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