Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches

PGA National (Champion Course)

The Loop

Lydia Ko fires Friday 62, moves closer to claiming $1 million bonus for third straight year

November 18, 2016

You might be surprised to know that Lydia Ko hasn't won a golf tournament in four months. And it would probably shock you to learn it's been more than two months since the top-ranked player in women's golf even posted a top 10 in an LPGA event. But Ko's "slump" appears to be coming to a close. And at just the right time.

On Friday, Ko fired a 62 to vault into the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. On the line this week -- in addition to the LPGA's season finale -- is the tour's player of the year award, Ko's No. 1 ranking, and a $1 million bonus for finishing first in the season-long Race to the CME Globe standings.

And breaking a course record with a 22-putt performance has Ko in position to achieve all of those goals. Ko, 19, needs a win this week to claim the Rolex Player of the Year for a second consecutive year. She just needs to beat the other eight players with a mathematical chance to win the CME Globe to take home the $1 million bonus for a third straight year.

After two rounds, Ko has a three-shot lead over Ryann O'Toole and So Yeon Ryu.

Ariya Jutanugarn, who leads Ko in both the CME Globe and player-of-the-year standings, shot 68, but she trails Ko by eight entering the weekend.

"I think the key mindset for me is I've been not really thinking about everything that could happen," Ko told reporters after Friday's round. "To me, it's more important to finish off my season strong."

For Ko, two more rounds like this, and everything will turn out just fine.