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Friday at the Women’s PGA Championionship

8 things to know after the KPMG Women's PGA Championship's second round

THREE TIED FOR 36-HOLE LEAD AT THE KPMG WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

Battling scorching conditions, So Yeon Ryu (3-under, 69), Brooke Henderson (1-under, 71) and Sung Hyun Park (even-par, 72) are tied for the lead after two rounds of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Kemper Lakes Golf Club in Kildeer, Illinois. Carlota Ciganda is one shot back. Seventeen players are within four shots of the lead, including defending champion, Danielle Kang (73-69), who is only four back despite bogeying two of her final three holes today.

RYU THE DAY

On her 28th birthday, six-time LPGA winner and 2017 Co-Rolex Player of the Year So Yeon Ryu shot her second straight round of 3-under par 69 to join 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Champion Brooke Henderson and 2017 Co-Rolex Player of the Year Sung Hyun Park in a tie for the lead at 6-under par, 138. Ryu has finished inside the top-15 in each of the last four KPMG Women’s PGA Championships. For the fifth time in her last seven rounds in this Championship (dating to the final round of the 2016 Championship at Sahalee), she posted a number in the 60s. Ryu did not break 70 in her first nine rounds of KPMG Women’s PGA Championship play. 

MORE: Full leaderboard

CONSTANTLY IN CONTENTION

Brooke Henderson’s success at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is well-documented: 2015 – T5, 2016 – 1, 2017 – 2. Henderson has finished every round at the Championship inside the top 10, and only once has she been positioned outside of the top 5.

KO GOES LOW

Two-time major champion Lydia Ko did not wait for Moving Day, rather she made her move this morning, posting a 6-under 66 that matched the low round of the Championship to date (also Sung Hyun Park, first round). Ko is just two years removed from losing to Brooke Henderson in a playoff during the 2016 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Sahalee, and she finished third in 2014. After beginning the morning tied for 86th, Ko will now enter the weekend with a two-day total of 4-under, 140, in a tie for 5th place. Her 66 today was her best round in a major since July 5, 2016, when she posted a second-round 66 in the U.S. Women’s Open.

WORST TO FIRST

Lydia Ko’s 66 today featured eight birdies, most in a single round of this Championship. Remarkably, Ko was one of nine players in the 156-player field that was shut out in the birdie department during Thursday’s opening round, when she carded 17 pars and a double-bogey.

MORE: Photos from Day 2

ROLEX WOMEN’S WORLD GOLF RANKINGS PROJECTIONS

Inbee Park has held the top spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings for the last 10 consecutive weeks. However, after she missed the cut at the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the four players immediately behind her all have the opportunity to stake their claim to the title of World No. 1.

For No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 Lexi Thompson and No. 4 Shanshan Feng, it’s simple – win the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and move to World No. 1. No. 5 So Yeon Ryu can also dethrone Park with a win, but she needs some additional help.

The following projections show the various paths to World No. 1:

- Ariya Jutanugarn (T36 after 36 holes) is projected to reach No. 1 with a win. With a runner-up finish, she is projected to reach No. 1 if Thompson or Feng do not win. 
- Lexi Thompson (T36 after 36 holes) is projected to reach No. 1 with a win. With a runner-up finish, she is projected to reach No. 1 if Jutanugarn finishes third or worse and if Feng and Ryu do not win. 
- Shanshan Feng (T54 after 36 holes) is projected to reach No. 1 with a win. She cannot move to No. 1 with any other finish. 
- So Yeon Ryu (T1 after 36 holes) is projected to reach No. 1 with a win and if Jutanugarn finishes third or worse. She cannot move to No. 1 with any other finish.

Jutanugarn, Feng and Ryu have each already reached No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings. Jutanugarn was World No. 1 from June 12-25, 2017, for a total of two weeks. Feng held the No. 1 ranking for 23 weeks, from Nov. 13, 2017, to April 22, 2018, while Ryu held the spot for 19 weeks, from June 26 to Nov. 5, 2017. Thompson has never reached World No. 1; her best ranking is No. 2, a position she held for eight consecutive weeks from Feb. 26 to April 16, 2018, and for 14 weeks overall. She would be the first American to reach No. 1 since Stacy Lewis held the position in 2014.

GREEN WITH ENVY ON THE GREENS

Thanks to a healthy putter, Jaye Marie Green is tied for 8th at the halfway mark of the 2018 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Green entered the week ranked 101st in putting, but she’s taken to the greens at Kemper Lakes. She ranks 6th with 19 one-putts on the week, while her 56 total putts rank tied for 25th in the field.

IF YOU’RE NOT AT KEMPER LAKES, JUST TUNE IN

NBC and Golf Channel will combine to show more than 40 hours coverage from the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, which includes 14 televised hours of live coverage, along with re-airs following each round (17 additional hours). In all, the 2018 Championship will be broadcast in 165 countries and territories worldwide, reaching 484 million households. Here's how you can watch the action.

 

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