Golf: NZ remains in touch in Turkey

Lydia Ko again led the way for New Zealand with a three under par 69 to be in a share of the lead on the individual leaderboard. Photo / Getty Images.
Lydia Ko again led the way for New Zealand with a three under par 69 to be in a share of the lead on the individual leaderboard. Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand remain in contention to win the Espirito Santo world team's golf championship for the first time but will need to do something special to beat a Korean side who made a big move on the second day in Antalya, Turkey, overnight (NZT).

The Kiwis will begin round three in a five-way share of second with Japan, Australia, Canada and Germany on a three under par 285 team total but five shots behind defending champions Korea at the halfway stage.

Lydia Ko again led the way for New Zealand with a three under par 69 to be in a share of the lead on the individual leaderboard with Korea's Hyo-Joo Kim.

Ko found good support from her teammates in the second round. Auckland's Munchin Keh, who opened with a calamitous non-counting 21 over par 93, responded with a one over par 73 which was also matched by Waikato's Emily Perry.

New Zealand will need to play well to reel in Korea, who began the day tied for eighth but went on to post the third-lowest second-round score in Espirito Santo Trophy history.

A lot of that responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Ko, the world's No 1 amateur. She made the turn in two under par overnight and added two more birdies to get to four under par and close in on the Koreans who had set a hot pace in the morning round. Although she dropped a shot at the par five 18th, her round helped keep New Zealand in touch.

"I hit 17 greens today and I was happy with the way I hit the ball," the 15-year-old said. "It was so hot out there. I felt like my round took years. By the looks of our results, our prediction on scoring lower on the New Course was right. We're tied second and in touch with our goal so we are looking forward to the next two rounds."

Keh was happy to bounce back on her international debut.

"I had a much better round today," the 19-year-old said. "My putting and chipping were good, as were most of my shots which has boosted my confidence.

"It was a very hot day today and I was sweating like I was in a sauna. Tomorrow we will be playing the Old Course again so I will do my best to overcome the challenges I had on day one."

Perry, who mixed six birdies with seven bogeys on day two, felt like she could have scored much better.

"It was a birdie-bogey, birdie-bogey sort of day," she said. "But I hung in there. It could have gone either way, but I made sure it went the way I wanted.

"I am looking forward to playing with some of the top-seeded teams tomorrow as I think it will help to spur me on and I enjoy that atmosphere.

"It was great for Munchin to have such a great bounce back round, too. I think we are all going from strength to strength as a team each day. Lydia is a solid rock score-wise for the team, too so, all in all, it's looking and feeling great."

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a2 at 23 Jul 2014 16:24:19 Processing Time: 436ms