Sports

Choi sets course record to lead Aussie Open

South Korea's Chella Choi smashed the course record with 10-under 62 yesterday, as she seized the Women's Australian Open joint-lead alongside exciting 17-year-old amateur Minjee Lee.

Choi, who is yet to win on the US LPGA Tour, lit up the back nine with birdies on 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17, and an eagle on 18, to lower the Victoria Golf Club women's record of 64 set on Friday by Caroline Hedwall.

Perth teenager Lee, who finished runner-up to Tiger Woods' niece Cheyenne at last week's Australian Ladies Masters, shot a 68 to match Choi's aggregate score of 13-under 203.

However, the joint-leaders will be watching out for New Zealand sensation Lydia Ko, 16, who was lurking two shots back in third place after scoring a 69 on day three.

Norwegian world No. 2 Suzann Pettersen, who will reach the top ranking if she wins or finishes second providing she is not tied with more than one other player, was three shots adrift in fourth.

FOUR IN THE HUNT

The day's events left the tournament tantalisingly poised heading into the final round with so much at stake for all four leading players.

Choi, the world No. 28, is seeking her first win after turning professional in 2008, while Lee could announce her arrival on the world stage by becoming the tournament's first amateur winner.

South Korean-born Ko, already fourth in the world after winning twice on Tour as an amateur, is within reach of her first LPGA Tour victory since turning professional late last year.

Overnight leader Hedwall slipped to four shots back and a share of fourth after returning a 74, while defending champion Jessica Korda, who won last month's season-opener in the Bahamas, was five adrift.

Cheyenne, 23, carded a 71 for a share of 23rd and has little realistic chance of recording back-to-back wins after last week's victory on the Gold Coast, which was the biggest of her career.

- AFP.