Golf: Lydia Ko remains in title hunt at LPGA Drive On Championship in Florida

Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko remains in the title hunt after the second round of the LPGA Drive On Championship in Florida.

After shooting 65 on the opening day to top the leaderboard, Ko carded a one-under par 70 in her sophomore effort at Bradenton to sit seven-under overall for the tournament in a share of third place with Japan's Ayaka Furue.

The world No. 9 is three shots behind leader Nelly Korda (10-under overall) with South Korean So Mi Lee in second (eight-under). 

Ko wasn't as assured as she was in her blemish-free opening day, carding four birdies but adding three bogeys to that mix.

Lydia Ko.
Lydia Ko. Photo credit: Getty Images

Last week, Ko earned her first tour victory in 14 months, when she triumphed at the season-opening Tournament of Champions on her home course at Lake Nona in Orlando.

A win in Brandenton would give Ko the point she needs to book her place in the LPGA Hall of Fame.

"I don't think it was as solid," Ko told the LPGA website after her round.

"I still gave myself plenty of opportunities but maybe just not as close.

"I three-putted to make my first bogey on the seventh and I think that killed my momentum a little bit... I kind of let that get away.

"I did feel like I didn't have my 'A' game. But to still be able to shoot under par on a day when you don't feel like it's as solid, it's a good place to be." 

Korda birdied three of her final four holes at Bradenton Country Club to card a four-under-par 67, passing second-place So Mi Lee of South Korea (second-round 65).

"I just knew that I could probably take advantage of the two par-fives," Korda said of her finish. "I knew I had two par-5s coming up, and if I had good drives, they're both reachable."

Korda did not win on the LPGA Tour in 2023. She's in search of her first LPGA victory in 14 months.

"It's been great to see the support," the former World No. 1 said. "I haven't played a tournament in Bradenton in a really, really long time. ... It's been cool to see the big crowds come out and support and the hometown feel."

Lucy Li and South Koreans Minji Kang and Sei Young Kim each shot 69 and are tied for sixth at 6 under. Lexi Thompson posted a 67 to move to five-under, tied for ninth with Scotland's Gemma Dryburgh (68) and Thailand's Jasmine Suwannapura (68).

Among those missing the cut line of even par include Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn, Paula Creamer and South Korea's Jeongeun Lee5.