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Ko third at US Women's Open

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 11/07/2016
Lydia Ko © Getty Images Lydia Ko

World No.1 Lydia Ko displayed rare signs of fallibility as she dropped to a third-placed finish at the US Women's Open in California.

The New Zealand teenager couldn't capitalise on a 54-hole lead for the second successive major tournament, finishing in a four-way share of third on four-under, two strokes short of a reaching a two-woman play-off for the title in San Martin.

American Brittany Lang and Swede Anna Nordquist were to contest a three-hole play-off at the CordeValle Golf Club.

Ko carded a three-over 75 to finish level with three Koreans - playing partners Sung Hyun Park and Eun-Hee Ji, along with Amy Yang.

After extending her overnight one-shot lead to two with a birdie at the sixth, Ko dropped five shots in the space of seven holes midway through her round to effectively drop from contention.

The low point was a double-bogey seven when her second shot found heavy rough and scrub well to the left of the fairway.

After a fruitless five-minute search for her lost ball, Ko was forced to play her fourth shot well back down the fairway.

Ko struggled to get near the pin for the remainder of her round, not helped by blustery winds and rock-hard greens.

She dropped shots on the 12th and 14th holes before a birdie on the 15th.

A birdie putt on the 18th slid past, denying her an outright third-placed finish.

The play-off contenders defy the recent trend of young major winners.

World No.15 Nordqvist, 29, is seeking a seventh career LPGA win and to add to her major victory at the 2008 Women's PGA Championship title.

She was the big mover on Sunday, shooting a five-under 67 to improve from her overnight 15th.

Lang, 30, is an 11-year pro with one title to her name and two runner-up finishes at majors.

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