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Wie leads, Ko closes in at LPGA event

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/03/2017

Lydia Ko is poised to contend for her first LPGA title of 2017 after climbing to a share of second place at the Women's Champions tournament in Singapore.

Kiwi world No.1 Ko mixed seven birdies with two bogeys to shoot a five-under 67 and be 12-under, two strokes behind outright leader Michelle Wie.

It is a performance out of the box from former high-profile American Wie, who has slumped to 179th in the rankings after an extended battle with her form.

Ko, who was seventh overnight, sits level with world No.2 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and Korean Sung Hyun Park.

A high-powered leaderboard features former world No.1 Inbee Park a further shot back in fifth alongside Korean compatriot Ha Na Jang, the Women's Australian Open champion.

Minjee Lee is the best-placed Australian, tied-17th at seven-under with Karrie Weeb and Sarah Jane Smith tied-55th at three-over and Su Oh 59th at five-over.

Nearly three hours of play was lost to early-afternoon rain but it didn't halt the momentum of Ko, who is playing her third tournament of the season after a relatively muted start by her standards.

The 19-year-old was 46th in Adelaide before surging home to an eighth-place finish at last week's LPGA Thailand.

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