COQUITLAM, British Columbia Teen star Lydia Ko shot her second straight 4-under 68 on Friday for a share of the lead with Chella Choi in the Canadian Women's Open.
Ko, the 15-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander who won the U.S. Women's Amateur two weeks ago, birdied four of the last seven holes in a bogey-free round to match Choi at 8 under. In January, Ko won the New South Wales Open in Australia at 14 to become the youngest player to win a professional tour event.
“I'm just here for the experience,” Ko said. “But the professionals, on the other hand, it's about how much money they're going to get by each placing.”
The 22-year-old Choi, from South Korea, followed her opening 72 with a 64 on The Vancouver Golf Club course. She rebounded from a sore shoulder that hampered her Thursday.
“I'm very happy,” she said. “I don't know how I made the putts.”
Club member Brian Alexander is serving as Ko caddie – the first time he has ever caddied.
“Two weeks ago at the U.S. Amateur, my mom caddied, and that is kind of a different feeling, because she's your mom and you have to listen to her,” Ko said. “It was really comfortable having my mom there, but it's also really relieving and comfortable to have someone that knows the course off their hat, really. He's been here for, I think 10 years, so he knows where not to go and where to go. There were quite a few tricky greens.”
Alexander, a real estate developer, said he gave Ko tips on the course during practice rounds earlier in the week. However, she has been calling the shots in the tournament.
U.S. Women's Open champion Na Yeon Choi, Angela Stanford, Moira Dunn and Inbee Park were tied for third at 5 under. Choi had a 72, Stanford and Dunn shot 70, and Park 71.
Suzann Pettersen, the 2009 winner at Priddis Greens in Calgary, Alberta, was 4 under after a 69.
“It feels like you're being beaten by a kid,” Pettersen said about Ko. “I know she's good. The problem is, she's too young to understand where she's at.”
Jiyai Shin and Vicky Hurst also were 4 under. They shot 70.
Top-ranked Yani Tseng, the first-round leader after a 66, had a 75 to drop nine shots back.
“I still have two days to go and, hopefully, next two days, I can fight back a little bit,” Tseng said.
Brittany Lincicome, the winner last year at Hillsdale in Mirabel, Quebec, was 1 over after a 73. Michelle Wie, the 2010 champion at St. Charles in Winnipeg, Manitoba, missed the cut with rounds of 74 and 76.
Conway native Kristy McPherson made the cut and will play over the weekend. McPherson finished with a 2-under and is at 3-over for the tournament.
GLENEAGLES, Scotland Englishmen Mark Foster and Richard Finch shared the lead Friday at the midway point of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.
The 37-year-old Foster, who lost out in a five-man playoff for the title last year, shot a 4-under 68, and Finch posted a 67 to finish at 8-under 136.
“It’s been a while since I have been in this situation, so I’m delighted to shoot a 67,” Finch said. “We had some downpours out there today, and I had a couple of three putts, but it’s just nice to be up there leading.”
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie eagled his ninth hole en route to a 67 for a share of third place at 7 under with Australia’s Brett Rumford (70).
After finally ending a 13-year wait to again qualify for the Ryder Cup, Lawrie finds himself in contention for a second victory this year.
“I am not one who worries about things but when you have not played in the Ryder Cup for that long, it’s got to be on your mind,” Lawrie said.
“The Ryder Cup is still in the back of my mind, but these last couple of days I have been able to just stand up and pick my target and not worry too much about the Ryder Cup.”
Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium kept alive his chance of automatically qualifying for the European Ryder Cup team with a second-round 70 for a share of seventh place at 5 under, only three shots behind the leaders.
Colsaerts, who needs to finish first or second to qualify automatically, capped his round with three birdies over his closing five holes.
“I feel pretty good, because it wasn’t a convincing round until a couple of holes from the end,” he said. “I didn’t feel as loose as Thursday, as I had a couple of bad breaks early on, but I finished in good fashion.”
SNOQUALMIE, Wash. Defending champion Mark Calcavecchia eagled the par-5 eighth hole and finished with a 7-under 65 on Friday to take the first-round lead in the Boeing Classic.
Calcavecchia, a playoff winner over Russ Cochran last year at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge for his first Champions Tour title, made a 20-foot putt on No. 8 after his 4-iron approach sailed over the flag.
Steve Pate, Jeff Sluman, Joe Don Blake, Eduardo Romero and Kirk Triplett were tied for second at 68.
Fred Couples withdrew because of back problems on the first hole. The Seattle player won the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in March and Senior British Open last month.