Lydia Ko retains share of lead at women's Australian Open
Newly crowned world number one Lydia Ko shot a one-under-par 72 on Saturday to retain a share of the lead heading into the final round of the women`s Australian Open, the third event on this year`s LPGA Tour.
Melbourne: Newly crowned world number one Lydia Ko shot a one-under-par 72 on Saturday to retain a share of the lead heading into the final round of the women`s Australian Open, the third event on this year`s LPGA Tour.
The 17-year-old from New Zealand had three birdies and two bogeys to finish at seven-under on a hot and humid day at Royal Melbourne.
"You hit in on to the green and you have this humongous break," Ko told reporters. "It`s tough in every aspect ... it does feel like a major."
Ko finished the round tied with another teen, Thailand`s Ariya Jutanugarn, who also shot 72 after starting her day with a bogey on the first hole.
South Korea`s Amy Yang carded a 70 to be outright third, one shot behind the leading pair at six-under while Juliette Granada of Paraguay and Australia`s Katherine Kirk were a further two shots back.
Both shot rounds of 70 with Granada reeling off four birdies in her last 11 holes after making a double bogey on the par-three fifth and Kirk making five bogeys in six holes on the back nine.
"I`m very happy with it because it`s not easy to make birdies out there and I made six," Kirk said.
"I made two long putts and they`re just bonuses but that`s probably as good as it gets today."
South Korea`s Jang Ha-na, who had started the day level with Ko and Jutanugarn, fell four shots behind after a 76.
Less than three weeks ago, Ko became the youngest golfer to hold top spot in the world rankings when she tied for second place at the LPGA`s season-opening event in Florida.
Tiger Woods had previously held the record when he reached number one in 1997 at 21, while Shin Ji-yai held the women`s record after reaching top spot in 2010 aged 22.