Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Golf: Ko keeps in touch in Ohio

Lydia Ko in action during the third round of the LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic in Ohio. Photo / Getty Images
Lydia Ko in action during the third round of the LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic in Ohio. Photo / Getty Images

Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko has remained in contention at the Marathon Classic in Ohio on the LPGA Tour after carding a solid one-under 70 during the third round.

The 17-year-old is at nine-under for the week in outright fifth place, two strokes back from co-leaders Lee-Anne Pace and Laura Diaz (-11), while Jaye Marie Green and So Yeon Ryu are in a tie for third at 10-under.

Ko opened the tournament with two rounds of 67 and was solid on the front nine today as she made the turn at one-over but three birdies and a bogey during her final six holes saw her dip under the card.

The North Shore product has enjoyed a prosperous rookie season on the LPGA Tour and has still never missed a cut in a professional event.

Ko has banked more than $970,000 in earnings this year and is third on the tour's Race to the CME Globe standings.

Meanwhile, Hamilton's Steven Alker holds a two-stroke lead heading in to the final round of the Boise Open in Idaho on the second-tier Web.com Tour.

Alker fired a six-under 65 during his third round today, which included five birdies, an eagle and a bogey, as he moved to 20-under for the week.

Americans Steve Wheatcroft and Zack Sucher are in a share of second place at 18-under, while Bill Lunde and Just Thomas are in a tie for fourth at 16-under.

Alker, who had missed the cut in his past three events, came in to the tournament in 19th place on the tour's order of merit; the top 25 players are guaranteed a card for next season's PGA Tour.

The 42-year-old's biggest payday of the year came last month when he won the Cleveland Open in a marathon 11-hole playoff.

A strong finish in Idaho would likely push him inside the top five on the Web.com Tour's money list.


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