Date: February 16, 2013
Author: Omnisport

Ko, Jiyai on top in Canberra

Amateur Lydia Ko continued her fine form as she took a share of the lead with Shin Jiyai at the Women&aposs Australian Open on Saturday. The 15-year-old, who won the New Zealand Women&aposs Open on Sunday, carded a three-under 70 to move into 17 under at the Royal Canberra Golf Club. New Zealander Ko is joined by Shin atop the leaderboard after the South Korean also posted a 70 in Yarralumla. Ko and Shin appear the only women capable of winning the tournament. Spaniard Beatriz Recari is outright third – a distant six shots back at 11 under – after her two-under 71. Her countrywoman Carlota Ciganda is one of five players at nine under, alongside Thai Moriya Jutanugarn, Frenchwoman Gwladys Nocera, world number one Yani Tseng and Colombian Mariajo Uribe. Ko holed four birdies on her first 10 holes before bogeys at the 12th and 14th, but she finished with a birdie at the par-five 18th. Shin was more consistent as two birdies and an eagle – at the par-five 6th – helped her to a share of the lead. Tseng, a five-time major winner, produced a two-under 71, while overnight leader Uribe could only manage a dreadful six-over 79. Nocera managed the best round of the day – an eight-under 65 which included an eagle and seven birdies. A group of six players, including Swede Anna Nordqvist and Australian Sarah Jane Smith, are sitting at eight under. Australians Rebecca Artis, Ashlee Dewhurst, Whitney Hillier and Katherine Hull-Kirk are at seven under, while amateur Minjee Lee and Kristie Smith (six under) are both further back. Four-time winner Karrie Webb (five under), Bree Arthur, Stacey Keating, Sarah Kemp and Oh Su-Hyun (all three under) are all fighting to finish in the top 50.