Lydia Ko has impressed on and off the course at the latest LPGA Tour event in South Korea, with a sharp change in appearance coinciding with a strong second round.

Ko hit a sparkling 4-under par 68 to sit just behind the leaders in the LPGA's KEB Hana Bank Championship in Incheon, South Korea on Friday.

The Kiwi former world number one also revealed her new bleached blonde look, which was warmly received by her competition.

"I feel like there's always a time when you want to just change something," Ko told lpga.com. "Three years ago I was crazy and I think I had five different hair colours in one season. Then I was on that brown train, then went lighter for my sister's wedding and my original colour grew out, so I decided I needed to make the tone a little better. So I just decided to go blonde. I can't do this when I'm 40, I don't think.

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"When Danielle (Kang) braided my hair for me at the gala dinner, everyone was like 'you're the Korean Elsya', which was pretty cool. I think I need to tell my hairstylist that we should continue this trend, though it does take a bit of getting used to."

Lydia Ko of New Zealand watches her shot on the second hole during the second round of the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship. Photo / AP
Lydia Ko of New Zealand watches her shot on the second hole during the second round of the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship. Photo / AP

Backing up her 70 on Thursday, Ko nailed four birdies in a bogey-free round to leave her just two shots behind the four leaders at the Sky 72 Golf Club ocean course.

South Korean Sung Hyun Park, Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn and Americans Danielle Kang and Charley Hull all finished the day on 8-under, with Jutanugarn having the day's best round, with a 5-under 67.

Kiwi Ryan Fox is poised to miss the cut at the European Tour's British Masters in Surrey, after a one-over day left him four-over for the tournament.

Danny Lee is outside the top 50 at the PGA event in Malaysia.