A solid third round has not been enough for Lydia Ko to keep pace with the leaders at the first women's golf major of the year.

Ko carded a one-under par 71 at the ANA Inspiration to stay steady in a tie for 11th place, but low rounds from the pace-setters has seen the Kiwi world number one fall eight shots behind leader Lexi Thompson.

Ko had a better round with her putter, only needing 27 putts compared to the 31 required in the first two rounds, but that could be put down to her struggles in hitting greens in regulation. The 19-year-old only found the green in regulation on 10 of the 18 holes, and wasn't as accurate with the driver as in her opening rounds.

The end result was a round which started with a bogey and was followed by 15 pars and two birdies - another solid but unspectacular round.


The difference came at the top of the leaderboard, where Ko fell from being just three shots behind to trailing by eight.

Thompson was the big mover, finishing off a second round of 67 early in the day before doubling the dose with a third round 67 to graft a two shot lead at the top of the leaderboard.

Thompson, who won the tournament in 2014 for her first and only major, leads at 13-under by two shots over Suzann Pettersen, with four players a further shot back.

World number two Ariya Jutanugarn is in a share of seventh at eight-under, needing a victory for a chance of snapping Ko's 75-week reign as world number one.

Fellow Kiwi Liv Cheng will be moving up those rankings as a result of her first professional win, on the LPGA Qualifying Tour. The world number 566 took out the Gateway Classic in Arizona, claiming victory with a par on the second playoff hole.

On the PGA Tour, two late bogies have dropped Danny Lee out of the top five at the Shell Houston Open. Lee was in a share of fifth at eight-under, but the late slip-up dropped him back to six-under par and a tie for 10th place at, 11 shots behind leader Sung Kang.