KAPOLEI, Hawaii — Lydia Ko once more put herself in place for her first win in three years, capturing a 7-under 65 on Friday to take a one-stroke lead into the ultimate spherical of the Lotte Championship.
Nelly Korda, who went backwards and forwards with Ko for the lead all through the third spherical, completed with a 63 and was one shot again. Ko pushed forward one final time by rolling within the final of her seven birdies on the par-4 18th.
“It wasn’t a flying begin in comparison with the opposite two days, however I stayed affected person,” Ko mentioned. “I had a lot of seems however they simply did not drop. When it is that form of day, you simply should be dedicated and do a very good job on the following one and never be too anxious.
“The final three days have been a lot enjoyable. That is my mindset tomorrow and I am going to see the place it will get me the top of the day.”
Ko is 21 below by three rounds at Kapolei Golf Membership, which has supplied little resistance this week even in windy situations. She has performed her final 4 rounds in 31 below, having fired a 62 final Sunday on the ANA Inspiration for her second runner-up end of the 12 months.
Ko’s earlier runner-up was in February on the Gainbridge LPGA, the place she completed three photographs behind Korda.
The 23-year-old former world No. 1 has 16 LPGA victories and two majors however has slumped since her final win in 2018. Nevertheless, her recreation started to rebound final summer season when the LPGA returned from its pandemic pause. Ko had the 54-hole lead on the Marathon LPGA Traditional in Ohio final July however shot a final-round 73 to complete a shot behind winner Danielle Kang.
Korda has wanted solely 25 putts in all three rounds this week.
“I did depart a pair on the market,” Korda mentioned of her 63, “so it is form of loopy.”
Yuka Saso, a 19-year-old from the Philippines taking part in on a sponsor’s exemption, adopted her back-to-back 64s with a 71 and was 4 photographs again. She started the day with a two-shot lead over Ko however bogeyed the primary gap whereas Ko made birdie. Saso made three extra bogeys on the entrance 9 earlier than rallying to complete below par for the day.
The typical rating Friday, with Kapolei much less breezy and some tees moved up, was 68.3. Among the many massive movers have been Leona Maguire, who was 5 photographs again after a 65, and Amy Yang, who shot 64 and was one other shot behind.
Lexi Thompson (67) was a part of a bunch at 14 below. She hit pitching wedge to five toes for eagle on the par-5 seventh gap.