ADELAIDE, Australia: South Korean frontrunner Ko Jin-young will take a four-stroke lead into Sunday’s final round of the Women’s Australian Open after again dominating the field at Kooyonga.
Ko fired a one-under 71 in Saturday’s third round to close in on the $1.3 million event and secure her status on the LPGA Tour.
Ko takes a four-shot buffer over Australia’s Hannah Green in the final round as she chases a wire-to-wire victory in Adelaide.
The 22-year-old from Seoul birdied three of her first five holes to lead by six strokes at one stage before bogeys at the sixth and eighth holes.
At the 11th she made a great par-save and at the 12th, she snap-hooked her drive into the trees, leaving her in a difficult spot, blocked out by trees.
But she punched out to near the green, chipped to close range and holed the putt.
The other contenders fell away, with compatriot Jiyai Shin dropping back two shots on the day, and American Emma Talley, who gave back four, playing in the final group.
Ko holed a four-metre birdie at the 17th and might have made another at the last but missed the putt from short range.
“I think focus on my game and think about my chipping keys and putting keys, and enjoy,” Ko said.
“This course is narrow so I (am) thinking about only the greens and then two putts. Birdies will be OK, but yes, that’s it.”
One of the day’s highlights was a hole-in-one by Sweden’s Jenny Haglund at the 14th in her third-round 73.
“That’s so exciting. I’ve never had anything like this at all,” Haglund said of her fourth career ace.
“I hit a seven iron, it was 144 metres. I just aimed right at the pin and it was just how I wanted to hit it.
“I’ve made a couple of holes-in-one before, but this is obviously the biggest and most important for me, it’s fantastic.”
New Zealand’s former world No.1 Lydia Ko lies eight shots off the lead after firing a one-under 71 to be three-under.