Ko on verge of $1 million jackpot at LPGA finale

Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:30pm EST
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(Reuters) - Lydia Ko is within sight of a haul of big prizes, two strokes from the lead after the third round at the CME Group Tour Championship in Florida on Saturday.

The South Korean-born Kiwi teenager carded three-under-par 69 to earn a share of third place, two strokes behind co-leaders Cristie Kerr (66) and Jang Ha-na (69), who set the pace on 11-under 205 at the Tiburon course in Naples.

With a strong final round on Sunday in the season-ending LPGA event, world number one Ko can win the money list, Player of the Year and the Vare Trophy (for best scoring average).

Most lucratively, she can snag the Race to the CME Globe for the second successive year and collect a $1 million jackpot that goes to the winner of the season-long points competition.

Ko leads South Korean Park In-bee in three of these four categories, the Vare Trophy being the exception.

But Park is only two strokes behind Ko, and four from the lead with a victory in Naples giving her the jackpot prize, so Ko cannot plan any victory speeches just yet.

"I should be proud that I’m in this position,” Ko, 18, told reporters.

“Anything can happen. If I play well, it might end up being a good day where I’m holding a couple trophies. At the same time, because everything is on the line, there is more added pressure."

Ko launched a late-season charge with three wins from July onwards (making it six for the year) to overtake Park, who had a big lead in the Race to the Globe when she won the Women's British Open four months ago.   Continued...