10 Dec 2023

Lydia Ko surges to lead in mixed format tournament

3:31 pm on 10 December 2023
Lydia Ko of New Zealand

Lydia Ko of New Zealand Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Lydia Ko is poised to end her golf year on a high after claiming the lead alongside Jason Day at an inaugural mixed teams event in Florida.

New Zealander Ko and another former world No.1 - Australian Day - hold a two-shot lead on a high-profile field at the $US4 million (NZ$6.53m) Grant Thornton Invitational in Naples.

It is a welcome display of form from Ko, who only finished 90th on the LPGA money list this season as her world ranking dipped to 11th.

She and Day are on 20-under after two rounds of the three-round event which is co-sanctioned by the LPGA and PGA Tours, sitting two clear of Americans Tony Finau and Nelly Korda, having begun day two in a tie for third.

The pair combined for seven birdies in the alternate shot format and Ko believed they could maintain their form in the

'modified four-ball' format for the same round.

"I think this is just a great experience for me and I hope a lot of juniors who are either here this week or watching on the TV get inspired and hope that one day they play on the PGA or the LPGA and they too are paired up with another fellow player on the other tour," Ko said.

"This is I think the outcome and result is secondary. I think for us, we don't really get to I guess cross paths that much with other tours. Jason's only the fourth PGA Tour player I've played with. I think it's a great -- something that I can learn a lot from."