NAPLES, Fla. (AP) Lydia Ko shot a tournament-record 10-under 62 on Friday to take a three-stroke lead in the CME Group Tour Championship, putting the top-ranked New Zealander in position to sweep the season points title and player of the year award.
The 2014 winner at Tiburon Golf Club, Ko birdied four of the first six holes and had seven birdies and a bogey on the back nine to get to 12-under 132 in the season finale. Ryann O’Toole (67) and So Yeon Ryu (68) were tied for second, and Sei Young Kim (68) and Beatriz Recari (68) followed at 8 under.
Ko needs a victory to top Ariya Jutanugarn in the player of the year race. The points in the CME Globe standings were reset for the finale, so Ko, Jutanugarn and Brooke Henderson all control their destinies when it comes to the $1 million bonus.
Ko is fighting Jutanugarn for the money title and In Gee Chun for the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring average. Jutanugarn, the tour victory leader with five, was tied for 19th at 4 under after a 68. Chun (69) was tied for sixth at 7 under, and Henderson (72) was tied for 38th at even par.
The 62 matched Ko’s lowest score of the season, shot in the second round of her Walmart NW Arkansas victory in June. She has four victories this year.
First-round leader Shanshan Feng followed her opening 66 with a 73 to drop into a tie for 16th at 5 under. The Chinese star is coming off consecutive victories in Malaysia and Japan.