Kim leads Ko by three

Kim Hyo Joo, 21, held off world No. 1 Lydia Ko in a fun duel with a burst of birdies that carried her to a seven-under 64 for a three-shot lead after three rounds of the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio (yesterday morning, Singapore time).

Kim, who began the round tied for the lead with the 19-year-old Ko, edged in front with a birdie at the fifth before the pair matched three birdies in a row from the seventh.

"She's younger than me, but I learned a lot of things playing today's round, and I had so much fun," said Kim. "I didn't feel much pressure, I just enjoyed it with Lydia Ko."

Kim also seemed to get a kick out of their rousing finish to the front nine, but the fun ride ended there for Ko, as the rising Japanese star birdied the 10th for her fourth in a row and made two more at 14 and 17 in a bogey-free round that took her to 15-under 198.

Ko is three back at 201 along with 21-year-old American Alison Lee, who posted a 66.

Still in striking range another shot back at 11 under were American Stacy Lewis (65) and Thai Ariya Jatanugarn (66).

- AFP.

GolfsportLydia KoWORLD NUMBER 1