Lydia Ko ready for mad-dash to Christchurch

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 07:04 27/01/2014

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Golf

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Lydia Ko needs to fly home straight after the fourth round of golf's Bahamas Classic if she's to start the LPGA Tour season in the winner's circle.

Regardless of how well she plays in this morning's final round, the 16-year-old will then begin a mad-dash from the Caribbean to Christchurch for this week's New Zealand Women's Open shortly after she putts out.

A small flight from the Lynden Pindling International Airport in the Bahamas' capital Nassau to Miami will be followed by a domestic flight to Los Angeles.

She, along with a handful of others playing in both tournaments, will then fly to Auckland and finally arrive in Christchurch on Wednesday ahead of the 54-hole tournament she won last year, which begins on Friday at the Clearwater Golf Club.

Ko remains in contention in the Bahamas, but wasn't able to shoot as low as some on moving day at the Ocean Club Golf Course.

The 16-year-old rookie yesterday shot a two-under 71 in her third round to be 10-under for the US$1.3 million (NZ$1.56m) tournament and in a tie for eighth.

The world No 4 is five shots behind Korean leader Na Yeon Choi - one of four players to shoot a seven-under 66 yesterday.

Ko was in a tie for sixth with the last two players on the course - second round leader Jessica Korda and her playing partner Paula Creamer - but both eagled the par-five 18th to move past her.

Ko started well, but couldn't convert opportunities and parred her opening sixth holes.

The Kiwi picked a shot up on seven, gave it straight back on eight then birdied nine to turn one-under.

A birdie three on 13 had her at two-under for the round and 10-under for the tournament.

She hit 16 of the 18 greens in regulation, but had 31 putts - more than her opening two rounds (28 and 29) - and missed a short birdie putt on the 18th.

Ko, playing alongside Thai P.K. Kongkraphan, was to tee off for her final round at 5.52am this morning (NZT).

- In men's PGA Tour action, Kiwis Tim Wilkinson and Danny Lee both missed the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in California.

Lee shot a three-under 69, but following his opening round four-over 76, missed the cut by one shot. Wilkinson was two-under after day one, but blew out in the second round and his five-over 77 saw him miss the cut by three.

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- The Press

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