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Saturday, October 29, 2016
World No. 1 Lydia back into contention at LPGA Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR: Lydia Ko is world No. 1 for a reason.
And the New Zealander proved it at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on Saturday.
The 19-year-old reeled off six birdies on her way to a superb bogey-free 65 to move five shots behind clubhouse leader Feng Shanshan of China at the TPC Kuala Lumpur.
Lydia, who began the day in joint 23rd spot and eight shots off the pace, ended it tied for sixth with an eight-under 205 total.
“I’ve been striking the ball pretty well. I’m making a few putts here and there, but the putts that didn’t drop on the first day kind of have been dropping the past two days,” said Lydia.
“These little things I think make the difference at the end of the day and got me to this position.
“But I’ve still got one long day tomorrow, so I’ve just got to stick to the same game plan.”
Lydia has yet to win since picking her fourth title of the season – the Marathon Classic in Ohio, the United States – in July.
She also failed to impress in her last three starts – the Evian Championship (joint 43rd), Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship (joint 20th) and LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship (joint 51st) and that led to her sacking her caddie Jason Hamilton.
Lydia has joined forces with local caddie Sargunan Suntharaj for this week’s tournament and she has been impressed with 37-year-old’s service, thus far.
“It’s been going good. He’s got a lot of experience, so we’ve been having a lot of fun out there,” she said.
A top-three finish would see Lydia reclaim the top spots in both the money list and the Race to the CME ranking – just a week after surrendering them to rival Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand.
World No. 2 Ariya continued to struggle at the LPGA Malaysia, posting a 70 to be joint 41st after three rounds.