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Ko finishes well off Japan Classic pace

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6/11/2016

World No.1 golfer Lydia Ko completed her steady if unspectacular improvement at the Japan Classic in Ibaraki with a three-under par final round.

Lydia Ko © Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images Lydia Ko

Ko finished the three-round event 12 shots off the pace set by overnight leader Shanshan Feng of China, who holds the clubhouse lead by three strokes from young South Korean Ha Na Jang.

The New Zealander's struggles with consistency continued as she mixed five birdies with two bogeys for a three-under 69.

It was her best round of the tournament after she backed up an opening 74 with one-under 71 on Saturday.

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who set the early pace with an opening round 66, has slipped down the leaderboard after offsetting four bogeys with a solitary birdie 14 holes into her final round.

Jutanugarn has edged ahead in her duel with Ko for the top prizes on the LPGA Tour, with just one tournament remaining.

Jutanugarn leads the LPGA Tour with five wins and holds a 13-point lead over Ko in the player of the year standings and the tour's lucrative points race.

Ko leads the money earnings by a slim margin and has the tour's lowest scoring average.

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