Lydia Ko makes front nine move, in contention
New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko made the most of good third round conditions at Royal Birkdale to keep faint title hopes alive at the British Open.
Starting the day nine shots off the pace and virtually out of the race, Ko carded a tidy three-under par 69 on a rare day without wind in Southport, England, to climb the leaderboard and find herself five shots off the lead heading into the final round.
The world No 2 shares 17th place at one-over par and is a long shot to push into contention, but another round in the 60s might put some pressure on the leaders tomorrow.
Former world No 1 Inbee Park of South Korea, winner of three majors last year, fired a four-under par 68 and claimed the lead at four-under par after opening the tournament with back-to-back 72s.
Norway's world No 4 Suzann Pettersen, China's Shanshan Feng and South Korean Sun-ju Ahn are a shot back at three-under while world No 1 Stacy Lewis of the US is poised at one-under, along with English teen Charley Hull who carded the round of the week with a six-under 66 today.
All of the action for Ko came on the front nine with four birdies - all at par-fours - and a bogey. She parred all nine holes coming home, including the three par-fives.
In the washup the 17-year-old may well be left to lament her second round 76, notably the eighth hole (a triple-bogey seven) and 16th hole (a double-bogey six).
Ko is bidding to become the youngest winner - man or woman - of a golf major, this week in Southport, north of Liverpool.
Despite her incredible success on the LPGA Tour, she has generally struggled in the majors and in 10 attempts has been in contention just once, in a runner-up finish at last year's Evian Championship in France.