Golf: Lydia Ko tied for second at Kia Classic

World number one Lydia Ko in action at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California. Photo/Getty.
World number one Lydia Ko in action at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California. Photo/Getty.

Kiwi Lydia Ko is tied for second place after the second round of the latest LPGA event.

The world No.1 shot five birdies and made par on all the other holes at the Kia Classic in Carlsbad, California, putting her in second place together with American Brittany Lang.

They are both nine- under after the second round, just one shot behind leader Jenny Shin of Korea.

Ko, third at the tournament last year, had back-to-back birdies on the third and fourth holes but only managed one birdie on the back nine.

Her score of 67 was one shot below the 68 in the first round but Shin had a stunning second round, shooting a bogey-free seven-under 65.

"I didn't strike the ball as well as I did yesterday, especially on my back nine. I had to make up-and-down from a few places," Ko said.

"The rough is rough, so when you get in there, it's tough to get close to the pin or even on the green sometimes. Sometimes I got fortunate, but other times I was able to scramble and I think that's the most important thing around here."

The 18-year-old was second last Sunday in Phoenix in the Founders Cup.

"I can't believe our first major is already around the corner next week," Ko said.

"This is a great swing of events, the Founders Cup, Kia Classic and, obviously, the ANA Inspiration.

"It's a fun few weeks. I've just got to enjoy it. I haven't played as best as I think I could have at ANA, and I think my personal goal is to try and have my personal-best finish."

Shin took the lead after making birdies on five of her first eight holes and had a 7-under 65 to reach 10-under 134 at Aviara in the final event before the major ANA Inspiration next week in Rancho Mirage.

"It was a really good round," Shin said. "I hit great shots. I hit great putts. I had a lot of 6-footers for birdie, so it was a good day. ... I think I did a good job placing my ball in the right position and getting the right clubs."

The 23-year-old is winless on the LPGA Tour.

"I certainly see myself improving every year," Shin said. "I feel like in every aspect of the game I'm improving just a little bit."

Meanwhile, second-ranked Inbee Park and fellow South Korean player Hyo Joo Kim were 8 under. Park had a 69, and Kim shot a 66. Jessica Korda (67) and Sung Hyun Park (66) were 7 under.

Third-ranked Lexi Thompson (68), No. 4 Stacy Lewis (71), No. 6 Ha Na Jang (72) and No. 8 Brooke Henderson (70) were nine strokes back at 1 under.

Jang won this year in Florida and Singapore, and Thompson won in Thailand. Lewis has a 44-event victory drought that dates to June 2014.

Phoenix winner Sei Young Kim followed her opening 72 with a 74 to make the cut by a stroke at 2 over.

Last week, the fifth-ranked South Korean player matched Annika Sorenstam's LPGA Tour scoring record of 27 under, closing with a 10-under 62 for a five-stroke victory.

Michelle Wie also was 2 over after rounds of 70 and 76.

Defending champion Cristie Kerr missed the cut with rounds of 73 and 76.

-AP

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