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Ko closes gap with flawless third round

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/06/2017
Lydia Ko of New Zealand tees off on the 7th hole during the 3rd round of the New Zealand Women's Open at Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch, New Zealand. © Martin Hunter/Getty Images Lydia Ko of New Zealand tees off on the 7th hole during the 3rd round of the New Zealand Women's Open at Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Lydia Ko has clawed her way back up the leaderboard at the Meijer Classic in Michigan with a flawless five-under 64.

The world No.2, in her first tournament back after a three-week break, now sits in a share of seventh place, fours shots off the pace set by American Lexi Thompson.

The 20-year-old Kiwi, who shot an opening round four-under 65, fell back with a two-over 71 on day two, but was happy with the way she regrouped, particularly after torrential overnight rain.

"On a day like today when you don't know if you're going to have further rain delays or how the course is playing, I think it was really important to hit the fairways and I think that I was doing pretty well out there," Ko said.

"Hopefully I'll keep doing that."

Both Ko and Thompson took advantage of the soft course conditions after a two-hour rain delay, with Ko collecting three birdies across the front nine before adding an eagle on the par-five 11th.

Thompson also shot 64, amassing six birdies and a bogey, to edge Lee-Anne Pace by one shot overall after the South African fired a sizzling eight-under 61 in a round which included two eagles, five birdies and a bogey.

Overnight leader Brooke Henderson, who carded a third-round 67, joins Pace and Korean duo Sung Hyun Park and Jenny Shin in a tie for second place on a three-round tally of 197.

Ko's 85-week reign as world No.1 ended earlier this week when Thai golfer Ariya Jutanugarn won the Manulife Classic in Cambridge, Ontario.

The new world No.1 sits in a share of 18th place after shooting a third-round 64, two strokes behind Ko after opening with back-to-back rounds of 69.

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