Golf: Lydia Ko on track for top-five finish at LPGA Thailand

Lydia Ko.
Lydia Ko. Photo credit: Getty Images

Kiwi Lydia Ko has dropped off the pace at the LPGA Thailand, despite another excellent round at Pattaya.

Starting the day four shots back at eight-under overall, the world No.1 shot a five under-par 67 in her third round to move into a four-way tie for seventh place at 13-under overall - now seven shots behind runaway leader Natthakritta Vongtaveelap of Thailand (20 under).

Vongtaveelap expanded her lead with an eight-under-par 64 at Siam Country Club's Pattaya Old Course in Chonburi.

Ko fired six birdies - including three straight at the 10th, 11th and 12th holes - with her only blemish a bogey at the fifth, improving on the 68 she shot through her first two rounds.

The 25-year-old is aiming to back up her season-opening victory at last week's Saudi Ladies International and should be in the running for a top-five finish.

Rookie Vongtaveelap started her day with an eagle at the par-five first hole and ended it with three straight birdies to move four shots clear of fellow Thailand native Atthaya Thitikul. 

Celine Boutier of France (67) is alone in third place at 15 under. American Lilia Vu (66), and Swedes Maja Stark (69) and Anna Nordqvist (67) are another shot back and tied for fourth.

Vongtaveelap's bogey-free round gave her the 54-hole lead for the first time in her young career.

With a victory, Vongtaveelap would become the first sponsor invite to win an LPGA Tour event, since Ko at the 2013 CP Women's Open.

"It would mean a lot," said Vongtaveelap, who turned pro in November. "It would mean a lot to me and to my team and to Thai fans, I would say."