Lydia Ko staying in the hunt at LPGA Thailand

13:38, Feb 22 2014

Kiwi sensation Lydia Ko produced her best round of the LPGA Thailand tournament to claim a share of fifth this evening.

The 16-year-old shot an impressive three-under par 69 to leave her five under at the Siam Country Club in Pattaya, five spots behind leader Anna Nordqvist.

Ko started the third round in a tie for 11th, but made up ground with a strong all-round day on the course with six total birdies.

Two bogeys in the first six holes looked like seeing the Kiwi off to a poor start, but she was able to give a strong finish to the round - including back-to-back birdies on the 15th and 16th holes.

A bogey on the 17th and a disappointing par on the final hole saw her slip back a position to end the day sitting alongside Yani Tseng, Cristie Kerr, Lexi Thompson, So Yeon Ryu, Sandra Gal and Azahara Munoz.

The majority of the top half of the leaderboard enjoyed good outings with Tseng, who was six under for the day, and world No 1 Inbee Park - who nailed a five-under round - making big moves.

Scot Catriona Matthew had the best day on the course with a seven-under round to take her to a share of 12th.

Nordqvist shot a 5-under 67 for a 4-stroke lead over top-ranked Inbee Park and American Michelle Wie.

The 27th-ranked Nordqvist sprinkled her third round at the Siam Country Club with four birdies and an eagle on the 10th against a bogey on No 5.

Leading since the first round, the 26-year-old Nordqvist has an overall 11-under 205. She is chasing her first win on the LPGA Tour since 2009.

Park shot 67 and Wie 69.

"I think the great players out there, Inbee, Stacy (Lewis), they've been up there so many times, so they look pretty comfortable out there," Nordqvist said. "For me, it's a matter of keep putting myself in those positions and the win will happen eventually."

Defending champion Park, playing her first tournament of the season, birdied the opening two holes and Nos. 10-13, with a lone bogey on the eighth.

"I hit a lot of great irons shots out there today, I think I still left four birdies out there," the four-time Major champion said.

The 2010 runner-up Wie had an error-free round.

"Couple hard pins, couple easy pins. Didn't really take advantage of the par 5s like I wanted to, but I can't really complain about it. Hopefully tomorrow I'll just have a lot more birdies," Wie said. "I really want that win, but I'm not going to put the added pressure on myself."

Paraguay's Julieta Granada (71) was a further stroke behind in fourth.

Tseng Yani of Taiwan, winner here in 2011 and '12, carded a 6-under 66 for an overall 5-under 211 and a share of fifth with Americans Cristie Kerr (68) and Lexi Thompson (69) as well as New Zealand teen prodigy Lydia Ko (69).


Fairfax Media