Teens stay on top Down Under

World number one Lydia Ko and fellow teenager Ariya Jutanugarn are tied for first in the LPGA Women’s Australian Open after both carded one-under72’s in Saturday’s third round.

Starting on the back nine, 17-year-old Ko bogied her first and last holes and shot three birdies in between. While 19-year-old Jutanugarn bogied on the first and 12th and birdied on the ninth, 14th and 17th holes.

Ko said that heat in Australia and the tough course at the Royal Melbourne made playing conditions incredibly difficult.

“You hit in on to the green and you have this humungous break. It’s tough in every aspect … it does feel like a major,” she told AP.

The New Zealander wasn’t the only player to struggle on Saturday. Several did not make par, while Japan’s Ilhee Lee was the only player to card a score lower than 70 after shooting a four-under 69.

Asked if she would accept a two-under 71 in Sunday’s final round, Ko said she would do so happily.

“Yes, I would. If I don’t have to play in that heat and get a 71 I’d take it,” she laughed.
South Korea’s Amy Yang is third on six-under after she carded a three-under 70 on Friday.

New Zealand’s Katherine Kirk and Paraguay’s Julieta Granada are tied for fourth on four-under after shooting three-under 70’s on Saturday.