World No. 1 Lydia Ko fired a course-record 10-under 62 Friday and now leads the CME Group Tour Championship by three shots over Ryann O’Toole and So Yeon Ryu. Here’s where things stand through 36 holes at the LPGA’s season finale in Naples, Fla.
What it means: Ko, 19, is in search of her 15th LPGA title, her fifth win of the season and her second CME Group Tour Championship. With a win this week, she can take home the tournament title, Rolex Player of the Year honors and the Race to the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot. Ko won this event as a 17-year-old in a four-hole playoff in 2014 and has won the season-long $1 million prize each of the last two years. She’s walked away from this event with more than $2.5 million over that stretch. She’s now 36 holes from winning the $1 million for the third straight year.
Round of the day: Following a 2-under 70 Thursday, Ko birdied each of her first three holes Friday and turned in 4-under 32. She then made just one par on the back nine, marking down seven birdies and a bogey to come home in 6-under 30. She hit 13 of 14 fairways and15 of 18 greens, and needed only 22 putts. She posted the round of the day by four shots.
Best of the rest: O’Toole and Ryu enter the weekend three back. Ryu is the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open winner searching for her first LPGA victory in two years. The 29-year-old O’Toole is a three-time Futures Tour winner and former Big Break contestant. She looks to become just the third American winner on the LPGA this year.
Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Shanshan Feng was the only player among the top 38 who finished over par in Round 2. The bronze medal winner in Rio was 3 over through first 14 holes before two late birdies got her into the clubhouse in 1-over 73. She’s now 5 under for the week, seven back of Ko.
Storyline to watch this weekend: World No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, who’s won five times this year including the Women’s British, entered the week leading Ko in the Race to the CME Globe and in the hunt for Player of the Year. Following rounds of 72-68, she sits eight shots back, tied for 19th.