Flawless back nine sees Lydia Ko one-shot off lead in Florida

Kiwi golf star Lydia Ko has made a roaring start to the final LPGA event of the year, tied for third after the first round of this week's lucrative Tour Championship in Florida.

Ko struck a clinical five-under-par 67 in Friday morning's action to sit just one shot off leaders Peiyun Chien and Sarah Jane Smith.

The 20-year-old former world No.1 was in fine nick from the outset in Naples, notching a birdie on the third hole and bogeying just once.

She produced a flawless back nine, including successive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes and an eagle on the 17th, to end the day on a high.

Four other players also sit on five-under par.

Despite a winless season, Ko carries a slim chance of stealing the biggest monetary prize in women's golf at this week's event.

The Korean-born Aucklander is ranked 12th on the CME Race to the Globe money list, but could still snare the $US1 million ($NZ1.4m) prize for the tour's leading points earner.

However she would have to both win the Tour Championship and hope that a host of other golfers finish well down the field.

Ko's renowned consistency has returned in recent months, finishing inside the top-22 in her last seven tournaments, including three top-three placings.

She's currently ranked eighth in the world.


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Video: Drone footage captures Eden Park transformed into golf course – and you can play

Eden Park has hosted some historic sporting moments in New Zealand history in the past but tomorrow it will make its own history with the staging of a unique golf event.

The iconic Auckland stadium has seen its pitch, usually reserved for rugby, league or cricket, transformed into a nine-hole course that the general public can play in the inaugural G9 event.

However, golfers won't have to trek around the course all day  - instead they'll have a 90 minute time slot to tee off from numerous spots around the stadium onto the turf, with scores tallied based on how close each ball gets to the hole.

Players are able to bring their own clubs, however they will be restricted to only an 8-iron-, 9-iron, wedge and putter.

The event runs from tomorrow until November 8.


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