ORLANDO (AFP) – Teen star Lydia Ko birdied five straight holes on the back nine to take a one-stroke lead after the third round of the season-opening LPGA Tour’s Coates Golf Championship on Friday.
The 17-year-old from New Zealand is a shot ahead of rookie Jang Ha-Na and could become the youngest male or female player ever to reach number one in the world rankings with a victory on Saturday.
Ko, who finished 54 holes at 14-under 202, has five career LPGA Tour wins with three of those coming last year.
Jang, the second-round leader, posted a one-under 71 at Golden Ocala Golf course in Florida and is alone in second place at 13-under.
Choi Na-Yeon, another South Korean, carded a six-under 66 to jump into third place at 12-under-par 204.
American Stacy Lewis shot two-under 70 for the second straight round and the world number three is alone in fourth at 10-under 206.
Amy Yang equalled Ko’s 65 and jumped into a share of fifth at nine-under. Yang was joined there by Jessica Korda (69) and Austin Ernst (70).