Lydia Ko holds a share of the lead heading into the final
day. (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)
Lydia Ko is in with a real chance of adding the
Australian Open to the New Zealand Open crown she won last
week, holding a share of the lead heading into the final day.
Ko's victory last weekend at Clearwater was the 15-year-old's
third win in 12 professional tournaments, and that impressive
number could very well rise tomorrow in Canberra.
Ko and world No 1 Jiyai Shin of South Korea swapped leads
throughout today's third round and, with both women
establishing themselves well clear at the front of the field,
they will do it all again tomorrow.
The pair will begin the final round on 17-under, six shots
clear of third-placed Beatriz Recari of Spain, meaning only a
dramatic collapse will prevent Ko from achieving a top-two
finish at the US$1.2 million event.
Of course, Ko, being the world's top-ranked amateur, will not
claim a cent, but that will be the last thing from her mind
tomorrow when she goes head to head with last year's British
Ko was in typically modest mood when asked to assess her
chances following the round but she was looking to the final
"I've been playing some pretty good golf, so I'm pretty
happy, but I'll see what happens tomorrow."
Ko could have been even happier were it not for a frustrating
back nine on which she dropped two shots. The Kiwi quickly
pulled in overnight leader Mariajo Uribe with birdies on the
second, fourth and sixth holes, but Shin responded
immediately and pegged back Ko's two-shot lead with an eagle
on the sixth.
Ko again took the lead on the 10th but ran into some trouble
on the 12th, doing well to make bogey after finding herself
in the trees. Another bogey on 14 handed Shin the outright
advantage, before Ko made birdie on the last to record
3-under for the day and draw level with Shin.
"I didn't really need to do much work on the last put [for
birdie], so it was nice," Ko said. "During the middle of my
back nine I wasn't so happy there and I think I got unlucky
in some cases. Having a birdie to end the day was good,
Playing as the final pairing, Ko and Shin will tee off
approximately 2pm (NZT) tomorrow.