Tokyo Olympics: Incoming thunderstorms, searing temperatures could cause shortened women's golf tournament for Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko may only have 36 more holes to stake her claim for a second Olympic medal.

Runner-up in Rio, the Kiwi golfer is sitting just outside the top ten after her first round, four shots back from leader Sweden's Madelene Sagstrom.

But tournament organisers have announced they may reduce the event to 54 holes due to the threat of a fast-approaching storm. 

Kasumigaseki Country Club sits directly in the path of the storm, but that's not the only worry for players and officials, who would normally schedule a 36-hole third day. 

Searing temperatures hit the opening round with up to 44 degrees recorded on the hottest day of the Games so far.

That leaves tournament organisers hesitant to force players into a double-round, so they are now leaving towards a shortened event.

The International Golf Federation’s Competition Committee said they still intend to begin round two as scheduled, but will share further information on the status of the competition at the end of the second day’s play.

Additional heat mitigation measures will also be implemented in time for the second round. Umbrellas will be made available on the first tee to all players and caddies, with roving carts providing ice and cooling towels. Volunteers will also be posted on each tee with umbrellas.