30 Sep 2017

Tough final day ahead for Ko at NZ Open

6:50 pm on 30 September 2017

New Zealand's Lydia Ko will have to overcome wind and rain if she is to fight her way back into contention for the New Zealand Women's Golf Open at the Windross Course in Auckland.

Lydia Ko at the New Zealand Women's Open

Lydia Ko at the New Zealand Women's Open Photo: Photosport

Ko birdied the eighteenth to finish her third round today with a two under 70, tied for eleventh place.

She is seven shots behind the tournament leader Spain's Belen Mozo.

Spain's Belen Mozo

Spain's Belen Mozo Photo: Photosport

Mozo played a steady even third round to stay at the top of the leaderboard on 15 under, one shot ahead of Canada's Brooke Henderson who has a three stroke lead over American Brittany Lincicome and China's Jing Yan.

Ko started and ended with birdies today but struggled as the wind got up to gain any traction on the leaders.

Strong rain and winds are forecast for tomorrow prompting organisers to move to a two-tee early start for the 78 strong field, starting from 7.40 and with the final group to tee off around 10 am.

Ko is expected to get underway around 9 am.

The wind started to appear late on Ko's third round making it tough going.

"It was pretty tough the last few holes. I tried to grind it out there and stay patient."

"I just have to play my own game tomorrow - I hear it could be pretty difficult conditions and on a course like this where it is so open and when the wind starts picking up it is not going to be easy."

"I just have to focus on me and go from there"

Lydia Ko receives a warm reception at the New Zealand Women's Open in Auckland.

Lydia Ko receives a warm reception at the New Zealand Women's Open in Auckland. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ko said the crowd support at the open has been fantastic.

"Yesterday was probably the biggest crowd I've played in front of my whole career."

"I kind of expected big numbers but then rocking up to the tee yesterday was like, wow, it blew my mind. Every time I holed a put or hit a good shot there was clapping and cheering. It gave me goose bumps."