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

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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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