Lydia Ko of New Zealand was the No. 1 player in the world two years ago and after something of a slump, she seems to be regaining her old form.
The 21-year-old Ko, whose last victory came in the 2016 Marathon Classic, carded a 5-under-par 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Jessica Korda heading to the final round of the LPGA MEDIHEAL Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club.
“I’m happy with the way I played,” said Ko, who has won 14 times on the LPGA Tour, including two majors. “I’ve just got to stay positive and confident out there and just continue playing my game and not worry about what everyone else is doing.
“I love San Francisco. I’m a member (at Lake Merced), so sometimes I get some friendly member bounces, too. For it to have gone in, I know there was luck involved with that.”
Ko, who won the LPGA Swinging Skirts at Lake Merced in 2014 and 2015, was talking about holing a bunker shot for birdie on the 11th hole after two wild shots on her way to recording a 54-hole score of 11-under 205.
Korda, who captured her fifth LPGA title in the Honda LPGA Thailand in February, salvaged a 71 with two birdies down the stretch, while Minjee Lee birdied the last two holes for a 68 and is three shots back in third.
Mariajo Uribe of Colombia and UCLA collected four birdies on the back nine in a 68 and is five down in a tie for fourth with Ryann O’Toole of San Clemente and UCLA, who birdied the last hole for a 68, Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who eagled the 15th hole in a 71, and Charley Hull of England, who stumbled to a 73.
Sixth-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand had five birdies on the back nine in a 68 and is six strokes behind in a tie for eighth with Annie Park of USC, who stumbled to a 75, while second-ranked Shanshan Feng of China shot 68 and is another shot back in a tie for 10th with Aditi Asok (68) of India, Mo Martin (71) of UCLA and Pasadena, and Nasa Hataoka (72) of Japan.
Fourth-ranked Seo Yeon Ryu is tied for 14th after a 73, top-ranked Inbee Park struggled to a 75 and is in a tie for 44th that includes third-ranked Lexi Thompson, who shot 74, and eighth-ranked Cristie Kerr , who had a 72, while seventh-ranked I.K. Kim, is tied for 52nd following a 73.
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