Ko one back going into final round of fifth major

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 12:24 15/09/2013
Lydia Ko
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FINE SHOWING: Lydia Ko has finished second at the Evian Championship.

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Lydia Ko is one good round away from becoming the youngest champion in the 154-year history of major championship golf.

When you put it like that, the magnitude of tonight's final round of the Evian Championship in France soon becomes apparent.

The 16-year-old New Zealand amateur is tied for second just one stroke off the lead heading into the final round of the fifth and final women's major of the year, in Evian-les-Bains.

She backed up her opening three-under 68 with a four-under 67 in today's second round - the event has been shortened to 54 holes because of poor weather - and is hot on the heels of Japan's Mika Miyazato, the outright leader at eight-under.

Ko birdied her final two holes to join Norway's Suzann Pettersen in a share of second and ensure intense worldwide media interest as the brilliant Kiwi searches for another slice of history.

The legendary Scot, "Young" Tom Morris, remains the youngest major champion, having claimed the first of four successive British Open titles as a 17-year-old in 1868.

American Morgan Pressel is the youngest female winner of a major; she was 18 when she won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The chance to become the youngest major champion is not lost on Ko.

"It would be amazing ... I would love to win a major championship," she said ahead of the tournament. "You obviously want to play well at them [majors] but the level of play is very high because the best players in the world are here. I just try to stay focused on my own game and what I can do."

Ko recorded four birdies in a bogey-free second round; her only problem seemed to be her glasses, which proved troublesome in the weather.

"I'm having to clean all the time," she told reporters. "I really want to get contacts. Cars have got wipers, they should design one for glasses. I would myself if I could."

Unlike the first round, when she birdied all four par-fives, Ko failed to capitalise on the long holes today, settling for par at all of them.

The Kiwi teen was accurate off the tee, hitting 12-of-13 fairways, and found 15 of the 18 greens in regulation. She made 28 putts, four more than her first round.

"I definitely gave myself a lot of opportunities," she said. "Hopefully it will be a good day tomorrow. But I can't hit it as good as I did today every single day."

The soggy course dried out somewhat today but more showers are forecast for the final round.

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Ko successfully defended her Canadian Open title last month and her form hasn't dropped in France, making her 25th successive cut in professional events.

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