Golf: Kiwi Lydia Ko lurks near top of leaderboard midway through Blue Bay LPGA in China

Kiwi Lydia Ko has holed from the fairway for a spectacular eagle, as she closed on the tournament leaders at Blue Bay LPGA in China.

After carding a four-under 68 on her opening round at Hainan Island, the early tour leader began the second with a bang, landing her approach shot on the edge of the green, before it rolled directly into the hole, unsighted by Ko.

Lydia Ko in action at Blue Bay LPGA.
Lydia Ko in action at Blue Bay LPGA. Photo credit: Getty Images

She needed that buffer on a rollercoaster day that saw her slip up and down the leaderboard, undermining the eagle and four birdies with four bogeys.

Ko had another putt for eagle on the par-five 14th and although her ball slipped by the hole, the birdie brought her back within a stroke of the lead. She gave the stroke right back again, when a wayward tee shot resulted in bogey on the 15th.

By the end of the day, Ko carded a two-under 70 and sat four stokes off the lead, tied for sixth, with late runs from Korean Narin An and American Sarah Schmelzel turning the contest on its head.

Teeing off on the 10th, An rattled off five straight birdies after the turn to finish with 65 for the round and nine under for the tournament. 

Across the course, first-round co-leader Schmelzel did her best to keep pace with three consecutive birdies, carding 69 and sharing the lead with An at halfway.

Ko leads the tour standings, after winning the opening Tournament of Champions, and finishing runner-up at the Drive On Championship and 34th-equal at last week's HSBC Women's World Championship.