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.



Watch: Lydia Ko sinks monster birdie putt, stays in the hunt in South Korea

Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko is precariously poised to take the title at the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship in South Korea, two shots off the pace behind the leaders in Incheon.

Starting her third round at -6 and two shots behind the leading group, Ko began brightly, with birdies on the third, fourth, seventh and eighth holes to complete a blemish free front nine.

However, the Kiwi failed to have the same impact on the back nine, with a bogey on the 11th cancelled out by a long range birdie on the 16th.

Ko finished her third round sitting at -10 for the tournament, trailing the leaders Charley Hull of England and Danielle Kang of the USA (both -12) by two shots.

The Kiwi is two shots off the lead heading into the final round in Incheon. Source: SKY



Watch: Kiwi golfer Danny Lee nails incredible hole-in-one

Kiwi golfer Danny Lee has made a stunning hole-in-one - the first of the 2018-19 season.

The 28-year-old's incredible effort was shot with a 9-iron from 150 yards on the fourth hole during his opening round at the CIMB classic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Today's hole-in-one is the third of Lee's PGA career.


Kiwi Ryan Fox moves up golf's world rankings

New Zealand's best male golfers have continued their rise up the world rankings.

Ryan Fox is the best placed Kiwi, moving up one spot to 81st in the world.

Danny Lee has climbed six places to 124th while Nick Voke has continued his incredible first year as a pro, jumping to 327th.

Making up the top three spots are American Dustin Johnson with the top ranking followed by Englishman Justin Rose and Brooks Koepka of the US.

TROON, SCOTLAND - JULY 16:  Ryan Fox of New Zealand tees off on the 2nd hole during the final round of the AAM Scottish Open at Dundonald Links Golf Course on July 16, 2017 in Troon, Scotland.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Ryan Fox Source: Getty