Lydia Ko posted a 5-under par 67 on Saturday and will head into the final round of the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship with a one-stroke lead.
Following a third round comprised of six birdies against one bogey, the former world No. 1 reached 11-under par and holds the 54-hole lead for the first time in 658 days.
When asked what her emotions would be if she were to finally make it back to the winner’s circle, the 21-year old Ko said, “I guess if it happens, I’m sure I’ll be super excited.
“Who knows, it might be tomorrow, it might be the next week, might be in the year, who knows. I know that no matter what number win it is, it’s always exciting to be the one holding the trophy.
“It’s always exciting to be the one holding the trophy.”
– Lydia Ko
“Kind of shows the hard work you’ve put in. I think like winning itself can be overstated where people think, hey, you’ve got to win, you’ve got to win. But I think as a player you’re playing for yourself but also for your team and everybody’s there.
“So I think it would be emotional and exciting for not only me, but for my whole family.”
One back was overnight leader Jessica Korda, who carded four birdies against three bogeys en route to a 71 and a three-day score of 10-under par.
“Today was definitely tough, the wind was picking up in the afternoon. I’m not sure what golf course Lydia was playing, but she played great,” said Korda.
“I’m excited for tomorrow.”
Minjee Lee made birdies on Nos. 17 and 18 on her way to a 68 and an 8-under par for the tournament, good for solo third.
“I don’t know what the conditions will be like tomorrow, but I’m sure either way it’s going to be an exciting finish,” said Lee.
“Yeah, I think I’m in a great position.”
Charley Hull (73), Moriya Jutanugarn (71), Ryann O’Toole (69), and Mariajo Uribe (68) were T4 at 6-under par.
Amateur star Annie Park struggled to a 75, but still sits T8 at 5-under par, alongside Ariya Jutanugarn (68).
TOP 10 LEADERS
1. Lydia Ko -11
2. Jessica Korda -10
3. Minjee Lee -8
4. Mariajo Uribe -6
4. Ryann O’Toole -6
4. Moriya Jutanugarn -6
4. Charley Hull -6
8. Ariya Jutanugarn -5
8. Annie Park -5
10. Shanshan Feng -4
10. Aditi Ashok -4
10. Mo Martin -4
10. Nasa Hataoka -4
“I mean, I love San Francisco and I’m a member here, so sometimes I get some friendly member bounces. But it brings back a lot of good memories for me. Coming into the week I knew that no matter how I was going to play, I knew I was going to have a great time.”
– Lydia Ko