Perfect no more: Ko misses first LPGA cut


HARRISON, N.Y. – Lydia Ko’s perfect streak is over.

She missed the cut Friday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, ending a streak of 53 consecutive cuts made in LPGA events, a run that dated back to her LPGA debut as an amateur at the Women’s Australian Open in 2012.

Ko’s missed cut also puts her Rolex world No. 1 ranking in jeopardy of ending after 19 weeks.

Ko shot 3-over-par 76 to miss the cut by a shot. She penalized herself one shot in Thursday’s first round after her ball moved when she addressed it on the 13th green. It proved a decisive penalty stroke. Ko was dealt a similar blow in the season-opening Coates Golf Championship. She penalized herself a shot in the first round there when her ball moved after she addressed it and she ended up losing the tournament by a shot.

No. 2 Inbee Park and No. 3 Stacy Lewis are both well positioned now to overtake Ko as the Rolex world No. 1. Park enters Saturday’s play tied for second, one shot off the lead. Lewis is tied for sixth, three shots back.

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Park has a chance to take the No. 1 ranking back with a finish of 29th or better. Lewis can move to No. 1 only if she wins and Park finishes worse than a three-way tie for third, or worse than a six-way tie for second.

Ko, 18, was three shots inside the cut line Friday until shooting 40 on her second nine. She made a double bogey at her 11th hole and followed that with back-to-back bogeys.

“I made a double and just couldn’t get anything turned around,” Ko said. “I tried to finish strong ... It  was already too late.”

Ko’s iron play was off Friday at Westchester Country Club. She missed just three fairways but missed 10 greens.

“I just kind of made bogey after bogey,” she said.

Ko made a double bogey, four bogeys and three birdies in the round.

Her worst two performances this season have now come in the first two major championships of the year. She tied for 51st at the ANA Inspiration in April, her worst finish in a major until she missed the cut Friday at Westchester.

Ko leads the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year race and the money winning list, but she has been off her best form since winning the Swinging Skirts Classic in late April. She tied for 41st in her next start at the North Texas Shootout, tied for 16th in her following start at the Kingsmill Championship and tied for 27th at the Manulife LPGA Classic last week.