Ko Keeping Eye on Choi
Lydia Ko bounced back from a tough streak on Friday, which included a stretch of four consecutive bogeys that sent her tumbling down the leaderboard. But the two-time major champion rallied on her inward stretch with four birdies in her last five holes to salvage a one-over, 73. But as Ko approached the media on Friday after her round, the ever humble 20-year old was more interested in what amateur Hye-Jin Choi was doing than talking about her own day. The world’s second ranked amateur moved into a share of the lead during Friday’s round and sits just two-back of the lead after opening with back-to-back rounds of 69.
The two played a practice round on Tuesday, along with amateur Robyn Choi, after being connected through their fathers.
“When I got to play alongside her she was an amazing player and good ball striking and hits it out there,” said Ko. “She’s obviously proving to be playing well and obviously there’s a lot of golf to be played but, when I looked at her she’s very steady.”
Born in 1997, 1998 and 1999, Ko was for the first time the veteran of the group at 20-years of age.
"They're super nice girls. I'm happy that she's playing great."
It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint
The players who were on the course until darkness forced the suspension of play at 8:33 p.m. Thursday evening were the same players who were back on the course ready to complete their opening rounds at 6:45 a.m. Friday morning. Knowing there was still golf to be played and a pre-dawn wakeup on the horizon made for a difficult night’s sleep. The alarm was set at 4:30 a.m. for Marina Alex who was relieved to be staying just 10 minutes from the course, but the quick turnaround and the day’s battle with the rain made for an exhausting two days.
“This is probably the most difficult turnaround I’ve had,” Alex said after her second round, 70. “I am going to take a really long nap when I get back to my house.”
Thursday evening, the horn blew while Carlota Ciganda was on her final hole of the day.
“It’s been a long 24 hours. Yesterday, played late so I didn’t finish 18 because I couldn’t see so I just hit my second shot, my layup and decided to play this morning,” Ciganda said. She bogeyed the hole to post 69 and followed, in the pouring rain, with a second round 71.
“The course we play this week is one of the toughest ones the whole year. We really don’t play courses like this. Really enjoy playing tough conditions, tough weather because I think I am mentally tough, so I really like the challenge,” said the two-time winner on Tour. “The harder the better.”
As the Secret Service stepped up their presence on-site ahead of the President’s arrival, Angela Stanford got excited at the opportunity to realize a lifelong dream.
“I secretly want to be a Secret Service agent,” Stanford told the media. “I’m kind of hoping to see one at some point. They’re hard to find.”
Stanford was one of 39 players who returned to the course Friday morning to complete her first round in the rain, compounded by the change in conditions and less than five hours of sleep.
“I thought it was really hard out there. They had some pretty interesting pin placements today, too. I thought it played really hard this morning.”
Stanford posted a second-round, 72 to sit at two-under par heading into the weekend.