New Zealander Lydia Ko has stormed up the leaderboard in the third round of the Olympic golf tournament to a share of third.
Lydia Ko Photo: Photosport
Ko shot the second-best round of the day, turning in a bogey-free 5-under par 66. Daniela Darquea of Ecuador’s 6-under 65 moved her 21 places up the leaderboard into a tie for 25th.
The New Zealander sits five shots off the lead held by American Nelly Korda, and two strokes shy of second-placed Aditi Ashok of India.
Rio silver medallist Lydia Ko is a strong medal chance again in Tokyo. Photo: AFP
Ranked 11th in the world, the 24-year-old New Zealander started her third round slowly with just the one birdie in her first nine holes, but closed the round out with four birdies over the back nine.
However, a tropical storm is forecast to hit the eastern coast of Japan on Saturday during the scheduled final round, bringing with it scattered thunderstorms and a 70 percent chance of rain.
The forecast calls for the storm to linger on Sunday, with 100 percent chance of rain as well as sustained winds of 50km/h.
Organisers have brought forward the start time to 9.30am (New Zealand time). They have told players that it may be possible to wrap up the event on Sunday.
If this isn’t possible because of more bad weather, the scores after 54 holes will decide the placements.
World number one Nelly Korda is within tantalising reach of the gold medal, as Ashok boosted India’s hopes of an unlikely podium spot.
Overnight leader by four strokes, American Korda carded a two-under 69 to lead by three from Ashok (68).
“I’ve been actually really calm for the last three days, I haven’t got really got nervous,” Korda told reporters after saving par on the 18th with a splendid up-and-down.
“I handled myself really well and sweet. I’ve tried to stay as present as possible.
“I’m really working on that … not to look too far ahead.”
Rio champion Park Inbee’s hopes of defending her title all but ended with a 71, leaving her 12 strokes adrift of Korda.
Several contenders, but only three medals#Olympics#Golf is heading towards an exciting finish.
Olympic Golf (@OlympicGolf) August 6, 2021