Lydia Ko has birdied the 18th hole to be just two shots back with the final day to play of the Honda LPGA Thailand event.
After rounds of 66 and 67, Ko started the third round superbly with three consecutive birdies on the 3rd, 4th and 5th holes to tie for the lead. A bogey at seven stopped the momentum as she turned 2-under for the first nine.
The second nine was playing well for everyone and Ko certainly took advantage with four birdies and a bogey to set herself up for a shot at the title on Sunday, finishing with a 5-under 67, sitting tied for 4th on 16-under.
Ko is two shots behind local star Patty Tavatanakit, who had a 2-under round of 70 and is on 18-under. One-shot ahead of Germany’s Caroline Masson and Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul on 17-under.
Ko has spoken about momentum across the two weeks of the Asian swing and again today she has said that is the key to her performing well on the final day.
“I feel like I played pretty solid today again,” Ko said, “I think it’s definitely nice to get off to a good start. Kind of sets pace for the day. I had a spell of pars where I couldn’t really make anything going, but after a mistake I felt like I was able to kind of get back on track pretty soon after.
“So that definitely helps with the momentum.”
Ko’s birdie on the 18th will build her confidence going into Sunday.
“I had a pretty tricky chip, so to be able to make up and down from there is good.
“The greens were really pure by the hole, so I said, I’m just going to put a good read and commit to it and hopefully it drops.”
A number of the top players on the LPGA tour didn’t make the trip to Thailand or last week in Singapore, but this was a swing that Ko wanted to be on.
“I love coming over to Asia. It’s been a while since we’ve been over here, so just enjoying this opportunity.
“The golf courses are really nice, too, very different characteristics. But enjoy my time and having fun and just seeing where it takes me by the end of the week.”
Ko will tee off in the second last group at 3.20pm NZT on Sunday and the coverage begins on Sky Sport 6 at 3.30pm.