Lydia Ko climbed handily up the field in the second round of the US Women’s Open, despite finishing it 10 shots off the leader.
The New Zealand superstar shot a one-under 71 on the second day at Pebble Beach to make the cut after shooting a four-over 76 on day one.
That left her in a tie for 27th, with Bailey Tardy of the US holding a two-shot lead at seven under.
Ko, who has never won the US Women’s Open, got off to a rocky start when she suffered two early setbacks after beginning the day on the back nine.
Bogeys on the par-four 13th hole and par-three 17th combined with a birdie on the par-five 14th had her at one-over, but Ko was able to recover.
She made back-to-back birdies on the first two holes of the front nine, before shooting under par again two holes later.
Ko pulled another shot back on the seventh but followed that up with a bogey on the penultimate hole.
“It was a lot better than yesterday, but yesterday honestly, apart from one hole, I played really solid,” Ko said.
“Yesterday was kind of a day where I didn’t do that many wrongs, but you don’t make up-and-down on a few approach shots and then a few loose shots here and there and not able to convert a few birdies.
“But today I was able to make a lot of crucial birdies. Turning the back nine which was my front nine, knowing that it is a tougher nine, and both those par-5s on the back nine are difficult, it’s like three good shots to give yourself a birdie opportunity.
“I think just played a little bit better, but that’s weird. That’s golf. I feel like that’s what’s been happening the last few weeks is not a lot wrong, but it’s just a few shot swing, and you realize, oh, that’s like four or five shots different to the day before, so I’m just trying to make it a little tidier.
“I know the good is good, so just making sure that the bad is not too bad and keep it in play, and I’m excited to be able to play the weekend here.”
Fellow Kiwi Amelia Garvey was unable to avoid the cut.
She shot a three-over 75 in the second round to be nine-over for the tournament in a tie for 112nd.