Mon, Jul 11, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Lydia Ko takes lead at US Women’s Open

AP, SAN MARTIN, California

Lydia Ko tees off on the sixth hole in the third round of the US Women’s Open at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

When Lydia Ko first arrived at the US Women’s Open four years ago, her hands were shaking so much out of nerves. Now, with two major titles under her belt by age 19, Ko is able to keep those emotions under control and project a picture of calmness on the golf course.

Ko birdied the 18th hole to cap a two-under 70 in the third round on Saturday that put her in the lead at the US Women’s Open, bolstering her chance for her third major title in less than a year.

“I think nerves are good, because it means you’re excited,” Ko said.

“You’re ready. It means a lot to you. You’ve got to be able to control it, but a little bit of nerves is always good. It can end up being a little bit of adrenaline,” she added.

She became the youngest woman to win a major last year at the Evian Championship and followed that up by winning the ANA Inspiration this spring.

Now she’s in contention for her first US Open title after failing to make the top 10 in her first four appearances.

Ko has a one-shot lead over 2009 winner Ji Eun-hee and Park Sung-hyun.

Brittany Lang and Amy Yang are two shots back at five-under, while Angela Stanford is in sixth place at four-under at CordeValle.

“I’m going to just try and enjoy it, just focus on the shot I have in front of me and not think about what everybody else is doing,” Ko said.

“If I think that way, I won’t get too carried away with what position I am at certain parts of the final day,” she added.

Ko’s week at the tournament got off to a somewhat shaky start when she was tied for 52nd after a 73 in the first round in the difficult afternoon conditions.

However, Ko got into contention with a 66 in the second round and then took sole possession of the lead on the final hole on Saturday.

Her approach shot spun back about 9 feet from the hole. She calmly sank the putt and then threw her ball into the stands in celebration.

Taiwan’s Teresa Lu was tied for 58th at seven-over and Yani Tseng was alone at 70 on 10-over.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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