Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lydia Ko ties Lexi Thompson for lead at Women in Tech Championship

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko

INDIANAPOLIS — Lydia Ko delivered a clear message to her LPGA Tour rivals Friday:

She's having fun again — and she's ready to start winning again.

The 20-year-old New Zealander shot 8-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 today, she could pick up her first victory since July 2016.

"I know I've still got a whole, full 18 holes (today) 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 mind-set that I've kind of gotten into the last few months."

After a summer full of frustration, the 14-time tour winner has shifted gears at Indianapolis Motor Speedway's golf course.

Ko started the season with four top-10 finishes in seven events but hasn't finished higher than 10th since. She even missed cuts in two of her past three tournaments.

Somehow, amid the intermittent sounds of chirping birds, jet engines, sirens and car horns while playing in the shadows of the racetrack's grandstands, Ko found some serenity.

While playing partners Anna Nordqvist and Stacy Lewis, the winner last week in Portland, Ore., struggled, Ko took advantage of the wide fairways and receptive greens and started playing like the world's No. 1, a title she held for more than 80 consecutive weeks.

Now No. 8 in the world, Ko started on the back nine and opened with consecutive birdies to tie Thompson at 9 under. Ko finally broke the tie with birdie at No. 15, then took charge with five straight birdies on the front side to reach 16 under. The only glitch came on No. 8 when Ko missed the green and slid her par putt to the right for a bogey.

Thompson, the 22-year-old from Coral Springs, followed her opening 63 with 66. Candie Kung made nine birdies and shot 64 to reach 14 under. Ashleigh Buhai (66) was fourth at 11 under, and Cristie Kerr (67) and Amy Olson (68) were 10 under.

CHAMPIONS: Kevin Sutherland and Glen Day shot 7-under 65 to share the first-round lead in the Japan Airlines Championship in Chiba, the first senior tour event in Japan. Winless on tour, Sutherland has had at least a share of the first-round lead in three of his past four events.

EUROPEAN PGA: Australian Scott Hend shot 7-under 63 to follow his opening 64 for 13-under 127 and a one-shot lead at the European Masters in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. Hend had eagle and five birdies to lead South African Darren Fichardt, whose 63 left him alone at 12 under. Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, tied with Hend for the lead overnight, shot 73 and was in a tie for 32nd.

Lydia Ko ties Lexi Thompson for lead at Women in Tech Championship 09/08/17 [Last modified: Friday, September 8, 2017 9:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)