19 Mar 2017

Ko rockets up leaderboard

3:08 pm on 19 March 2017

With a string of six consecutive birdies, world golf number one Lydia Ko has charged into contention at the latest event on the LPGA tour in Arizona.

Lydia Ko.

Lydia Ko. Photo: Photosport

Ko's third round at the Founders Cup in Phoenix featured two birdies on the front nine and another on the 11th hole before her touch turned golden on the run home.

Six straight birdies on holes 13 through 18 gave her a blemish free round of 63 and vaulted the New Zealander from her overnight position of 40th into a tie for 7th.

At 16-under for the tournament, Ko is five strokes behind the Swedish leader Anna Nordqvist, who outshone the Kiwi's effort to rise to the top of the leaderboard.

Nordqvist carded a tournament record equalling round of 61 at Wildfire Golf Club to take a two stroke advantage over the overnight leaders Ariya Jutanugarn and Stacy Lewis.

Korea's So Yeon Ryu (18-under), compatriot In Gee Chun and American, Angel Yin (17-under) stand between second place and Ko, who attributed her vault up the leaderboard to accurate approach play.

"I hit my shots into the green really close and I had so many great looks for birdies," said Ko.

"I was stroking it well so I just trusted my read and put a good stroke on it," she said.

"I just gotta focus on my game tomorrow and hopefully have another low one."

In three previous starts at the Founders Cup, Ko has finished the runner-up twice.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's Danny Lee has lost ground at the latest PGA tour event in Florida.

Danny Lee.

Danny Lee. Photo: Photosport

Lee carded a one-over par, third round 73 to be two-over for the tournament, 13 strokes behind American leaders, Kevin Kisner and Charley Hoffman.