The Press

Ko better but still off pace


Lydia Ko’s best round of the weekend has still left her well off the pace at the Marathon Classic on the LPGA Tour.

The world No 4 shot a six-under 65 in her third round yesterday to move to seven-under for the tournament, but was tied for 19th and still eight shots off the leader, Nelly Korda of the United States.

Ko only just made the cut, after birdieing the 18th in her second round, but she made the most of her great escape with another bogey-free day at Highlands Meadow in Sylvania, Ohio.

She began the day with a birdie on the par-four first, then added others on the fourth (par four), sixth (par three), and eighth (par three) on the front nine. She then added another on the par-four 10th, before doing the job on the par-five 18th once again.

Last year’s Marathon Classic was Ko’s last profession­al win, but she will need an improbably dramatic final round to defend her title, and break her winless run, which has now stretched for more than a year.

Korda sits at 15-under after three rounds, two shots ahead of South Korea’s In-Kyung Kim, and three shots ahead of a group of six players - Taiwan’s Peiyun Chen, who stumbled late; Americans Gerina Piller, Lexi Thompson, and Sandra Changkija; India’s Aditi Ashok, and South Korean Sung Hyun Park, who last week won the US Open.

Meanwhile, Steve Alker shot his third sub-par round but has slipped to a nine-way tie for 20th place at the Barbasol Championsh­ip on the US tour.

The 45-year-old New Zealander shot a one-under 70 yesterday to be 10-under for the tournament at Auburn, Alabama.

Alker is tied for 20th place, nine shots behind leader Scott Stallings.

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