Lydia Ko enters the weekend with yet another chance to make history.
With her 7-under-par 64 Friday at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, Ko moved into a tie for second, just two shots off the lead. If she wins at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, she has a chance to become the youngest world No. 1 in the history of professional golf. She will ascend to Rolex No. 1 if she wins and current No. 1 Stacy Lewis finishes T-12 or worse.
With a 71 on Friday, Lewis slipped back to T-11.
At week’s start, Ko and Lewis were together for a news conference, where Lewis had some fun when Ko tried to deflect a question about how much she wanted to become world No. 1.
“Just say it, you want to be No. 1 in the world,” Lewis playfully told Ko. “Say it. Come on. Come on.”
Ko wouldn’t say it, and she wouldn’t again Friday after her sizzling 64 put her in weekend position to win her third LPGA title this year.
“I don’t really try and concentrate about the rankings,” Ko said. “To me, it’s more important trying to win tournaments. It’s more important trying my best and getting good results than being the No. 1 in the world.”
Lewis will be hard to pass as she so consistently contends. Lewis has a tour-best 16 top-10 finishes this year.
Ko has played through some swelling in her left wrist this summer, the result of fluid buildup in cysts that doctors said developed with her long practice regimens on the range. She had the fluids drained at the end of August and is considering the possibility of surgery at season’s end. Doctors have told her she can play with the cysts, but fluid buildup will inevitably return without surgically sealing them. She had special non-surgical treatments in South Korea last week.
“My wrist is totally fine now,” Ko said Friday. “I don't have a problem with it. I've been getting some treatment when I had the three weeks off, so it feels good right now.”