Lydia Ko's course record secures three-shot lead in Christchurch

Lydia Ko
Lydia Ko became the women's world number one in February, aged just 17.
New Zealand Women's Open leaderboard
-13 Lydia Ko (NZ); -10 Charley Hull (Eng); -9 Giulia Sergas (Ita), Beth Allen (US); -8 Marianne Skarpnord (Nor), Pamela Pretswell (Sco), Nanna Koerstz Madsen (Den), Marina Alex (US); -6 Amelia Lewis (US), Marta Sanz (Spa), Laura Davies (Eng), Hannah Green (Aus), Felicity Johnson (Eng); Selected Others: -5 Liz Young (Eng); -4 Florentyna Parker (Eng); -1 Danielle Montgomery (Eng).

World number one Lydia Ko equalled the lowest round on the Ladies European Tour to take a three-shot lead in the New Zealand Open at Christchurch.

Ko's course record 11-under-par 61, after she bogeyed the opening hole, included 10 birdies and an eagle.

The 17-year-old leads from England's Charley Hull, who carded a flawless 64, going into the final round.

"I thought, oh, 59, that is the magical number, but I'm pretty happy with 61," New Zealander Ko said.

Ko, who shares the record with six other players, said her preparation for the round that gave her a 13-under-par total of 131 had been far from perfect.

"I wasn't hitting it very well out there on the range so I thought, just forget about it, let's just relax," said Ko, who won the Women's Australian Open in Melbourne last week..

"I didn't have a very good night's sleep and I really love my sleep. Nothing was really going the way I wanted it to."

Hull, 18 from Kettering, also entertained thoughts of breaking the 60 barrier after her eighth birdie of the day on the 13th.

"It did enter my mind," she said. "I was eight under and thought I could possibly get to 59."

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