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New Zealand golfers move into contention

Lydia Ko LPGA Tour golf
Lydia Ko made seven birdies in the second round of the Founders Cup event. PHOTO: LPGA

Multiple New Zealand golfers sit inside the top-30 at tournaments in the USA and South Korea.


Lydia Ko is tied for sixth on the LPGA Tour, Ryan Fox in a share of 19th on the PGA Tour, Steven Alker tied for 21st on the PGA Tour Champions, and Momoka Kobori sharing 26th on the Ladies European Tour.


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Ko produced seven birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey in a one-under 71 in the second round of the Founders Cup tournament at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, New Jersey on Friday (Saturday NZ Time).


Following a three-under 69 in the opening round on Thursday (Friday NZT), Ko sits at four-under, nine strokes behind runaway leaders Madelene Sagstrom and Rose Zhang.


Starting at the 10th tee on day two, Ko made four birdies and a bogey on her first-nine to make the turn at three-under. In an up-and-down second-nine, the 26-year-old made three birdies in four holes but followed it with a double-bogey.


Ko, the world No 10, will tee off her third round on Saturday at 1.05pm local time (5.05am Sunday NZT).



Fox was a big mover during the second round of the secondary Myrtle Beach Classic on Friday (Saturday NZT), moving up 23 spots.


The 36-year-old carded seven birdies and two bogeys in a five-under 66 at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, reach six-under, six shots off the lead.


Fox started on fire, with four straight birdies and five in his first six holes, along with a bogey. Further birdies came at the ninth and 15th holes before a bogey at the 18th.


The world No 61 will get his third round started at 11.15am Saturday local time (3.15am Sunday NZT).



Alker slid three spots during the second round of the Regions Tradition tournament at the Greystone Golf and Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama.


The 52-year-old managed a one-under 71, featuring three birdies and two bogeys, to reach four-under, eight strokes back of 36-hole leader Steve Stricker.


Starting at the 10th tee, Alker book-ended a birdie at the 13th hole with bogeys at the 10th and 18th. He recovered with birdies at the fourth and seventh to have a chance during the weekend.


The Charles Schwab Cup leader tees off his third round on Saturday at 11.53am local time (3.53am Sunday NZT).


Michael Campbell, the 2005 US Open champion, dropped 24 spots to a share of 51st at one-over after a three-over 75, with four bogeys and a birdie, on day two.



At the LET’s Aramco Team Series event in Seoul, South Korea, Kobori completed a one-under 71 in the second round on Saturday.


After opening with a four-over 76 that featured three bogeys and a triple-bogey on Friday, Kobori produced three birdies and two bogeys after hitting 13-of-14 fairways. She made back-to-back birdies at the third and fourth, before another at the 11th.


Moving up 14 places to 26th at three-over, the 25-year-old sits eight shots off the lead with half the field still to complete their second rounds.




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