Ko takes lead at LPGA opener, closes in on golf history

OCALA, Fla. (AP) Lydia Ko is 18 holes from history.

The 17-year-old New Zealander birdied five consecutive holes and shot a 7-under 65 in the third round of the Coates Golf Championship on Friday to take the outright lead in the LPGA Tour's season opener.

If she hangs on Saturday, she would become the youngest golfer - male or female - to be ranked No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings.

Second-round leader Ha Na Jang was a stroke back at 13-under 203 after a 1-under 71 Friday. Fellow South Korean Na Yeon Choi shot a 6-under 66 and was two back at 12 under.

American Stacy Lewis (70) was 10 under, one stroke ahead of Amy Yang (65), Jessica Korda (69) and Austin Ernst (70).

Michelle Wie and Cheyenne Woods both shot 73 and fell further back in the 77-player field.

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