61 Puts Ms. Piggy in Control Down Under
By Conor Nagle under LPGA

Ryu's 61 included 12 birdies.

US Women’s Open champion So Yeon Ryu enjoys a commanding, four-shot lead at the halfway point of the RACV Gold Coast Australian Ladies Masters.

After carding a flawless 66 in the opening round, the South Korean blitzed the Royal Pines Resort course on Friday, firing 12 birdies in 16 holes en route to a stunning 61.

Though the use of preferred lies will keep the 21-year-old – whose nickname, “Piggy”, apparently means “good luck” in Korean – out of the tournament record book, the force of her early dominance admits of little else in the way of debate or ambiguity.

Her nearest challenger, European Solheim Cup hero Christel Boeljon (65) – herself three clear of the Bo-Mee Lee (69) and local favourite Nikki Campbell (67) – remains four shots adrift, despite compiling an impressive 36-hole total of 131 (13-under-par).

Teenage star Lexi Thompson (70) is at seven-under-par for the tournament and on the very periphery of contention, while her playing partner over the first two days, 14-year-old amateur Lydia Ko (69), remains a shot shy of a place in the top-15.

Conor Nagle