Golf: Ko in a share of 10th in Japan

World No 1 amateur Lydia Ko continues to impress around the world, this time on her debut on the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Tour. Photo / Getty Images.
World No 1 amateur Lydia Ko continues to impress around the world, this time on her debut on the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Tour. Photo / Getty Images.

World No 1 amateur Lydia Ko continues to impress around the world, this time on her debut on the Japan Ladies Professional Golf Tour.

The 16-year-old carded a one over par 73 in round three of the World Ladies Championship Salonpas Cup yesterday to be in a share of 10th place.

The New Zealand Women's Open champion, who opened with rounds of 72 and 70 at the Ibaraki Golf Club to be in a share of eighth place at the halfway mark, is now on a three-round total of one under par. She will begin today's final round six shots back from the leader, Japan professional Rikako Morita.

"I have enjoyed my week up here,'' Ko said. "I got off to a pretty slow start on day one. It was an up and down day. I played well on day two with a two under par 70 to get to eighth.

"Round three was OK. It was a rainy day and this course is quite long so I had to use lots of hybrids and woods into the greens. I am coming 10th at the moment and I am happy with that.''

Ko made two birdies and three bogeys in her third round as she once again competed well in a world-class field. She has all-but sewn up the leading amateur honours at the tournament as she holds an 11 shot lead over Japan's Yumi Matsubara.

Ko, who is the youngest winner on the Australian LPGA, Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour, has continued her remarkable record of never missing a cut in 17 professional events.

Ko, who is No 22 on the official world golf rankings, has won three titles, finished runner-up three times and third once in professional fields. She has also finished as the low amateur in all three major championships she has contested to earn an amateur record that is one of the best ever seen in the game.

She will return home following her week in Japan to catch up on some school work. Her next event will be the LPGA Championship at the Pittsford Golf Club in New York, where she will contest her fourth major and look to become the youngest major winner in history.

American Morgan Pressel holds that record after claiming the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship at the age of 18 years, 10 months and nine days.

- APNZ

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