It might seem strange to suggest for a golfer who has won four tournaments this year and finished in the top 10 13 times but Lydia Ko's 'slump' continues.

Today the world No 1 carded a 1-over 73 at the Hana Bank Championship in South Korea to be 1-over for the tournament after three rounds and is in a share of 45th, 13 shots behind leader Alison Lee. She carded a first-round 75 and backed that up with a 69 to make the cut. Today, she mixed five bogeys and a double-bogey with six birdies, including three on the final three holes.

Ko finished in a tie of 20th at the Taiwan Championship in her last start which came on the back of her 43rd at The Evian Championship. She was defending champion for both events.

It is three months since her last tournament win - the Marathon Classic - which is a long time for someone of Ko's success and consistency and her lead over Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn in the Race to the CME Globe is less than 140 points. Ko won the title, which is a season-long points competition, in 2015.


There have been suggestions the 19-year-old is feeling tired as her schedule and the expectations catch up with her. There are five more events on the LPGA Tour, if she chooses to play them all.

Jutanugarn moved to 1-under yesterday to be in a share of 32nd, two shots ahead of Ko.

Steven Alker might have had visions of a big jump up the leaderboard after five holes of his second round at the Safeway Open in California today. The Kiwi golfer hit four birdies in his first five holes to jump to a tie of 11th.

But a pair of consecutive bogies blighted his round and he carded a 3-under 69. He still had seven birdies in all, including ones on the final two holes, which helped him to a share of 29th, 10 shots behind leader Scott Piercy on a rain-interrupted day. Piercy pitched in for eagle, added a pair of birdies and maintained a two-shot lead until it was too dark to continue.

A steady rain that fell on Silverado for most of the day halted the second round for 2 hours, 36 minutes and prevented it from finishing until the third morning.

Bill Haas had a 2-under 70 and finished 36 holes in 8-under 136.

Piercy, who opened with a course-record 62, was at 14-under par after 12 holes of his second round.

New Zealand No 1 Danny Lee has some work to do to make the cut, sitting on 1-under after 12 holes of his second round. He was in a share of 82nd with the projected cut at 2-under.