Olympics: Ko Plays Ace, But Park Holds Cards In Golf

Olympics: Ko plays ace, but Park holds cards in golf

RIO DE JANEIRO, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 20th Augst,2016) - The world's top-ranked golfer Lydia Ko saved her maiden hole-in-one for sport's biggest stage on Friday, setting up a final-round face-off with leader Park In-Bee with Olympic gold up for grabs. The 19-year-old Kiwi shot a third-round six-under-par 65, punctuated by an ace, to charge to within two strokes of South Korea's Park in the sprint for the first women's Olympic title in 116 years.

It will be New Zealand up against the two powers of women's golf, South Korea and the United States, as Ko and Park tee off for Saturday's final round along with the USA's Gerina Piller. Starting the day seven strokes behind Park, Ko aced the par-3 eighth hole and added four birdies on a blistering bogey-free front nine. "I got my first hole-in-one, and to do that at the Olympics, it doesn't get any better than that," Ko said of her 7-iron on the 140-yard (128-m) par-3 eighth hole.

"It kind of puts the cherry on top." Overnight leader Park held on to a two-stroke advantage over Ko and Piller but she had to hold on tight as winds approaching 20 km (12 miles) an hour swept in off the South Atlantic at midday. That sent umbrellas flying and chilled afternoon scoring on Rio's Olympic course, forcing Park into an uncharacteristic five bogeys. But she still managed a one-under-par 70 for the day to remain in pole position at 11-under overall.

More benign conditions prevailed in the morning, however, and Ko's hole-in-one was not even the day's first -- China's Lin Xiyu beat her to it, also on the eighth hole. Ko nearly had a second consecutive eagle on the par-four ninth, when her approach shot landed beyond the pin, spun back and nearly dropped in. She birdied the hole. Despite the hot start, Ko was unable to close further, managing only pars after the turn as the wind kicked up.