Golf: Kiwi Ko seizes Kia Classic lead, Aussie Lee earns hole in one on par-four

Lydia Ko of New Zealand tees off the 2nd hole during Round Three of the KIA Classic at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort on March 26, 2016.
Lydia Ko of New Zealand tees off the 2nd hole during Round Three of the KIA Classic at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort on March 26, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

CARLSBAD, California (AFP) - Lydia Ko took sole possession of the lead after shooting a bogey-free 67 and Lee Min Jee aced a 275-yard par four in the third round of golf's Kia Classic.

World No. 1 Ko, from New Zealand, is at 14-under overall and has a three-shot lead over Park Sung Hyun (68), Brittany Lang (70), and Jenny Shin (71) in the LPGA Tour event.

"You don't get that many opportunities where you're going into the final round with a few-shot lead," she said.

"But I'll take it. I'd rather be a couple shots ahead than a couple shots behind."

The day was special for Australia's Lee as she made a hole-in-one on the 16th at the Carlsbad course. She becomes just the second in history to hit a hole-in-one at a par-four on the LPGA Tour, following Jang Ha Na's albatross earlier this year in the Bahamas.

Park carded five birdies in a row before a stumble on the par-five 17th hole with a double bogey. She rebounded and finished her round with a birdie on the 18th, putting her in a tie for second place.

Ko holds the 54-hole lead for the 10th time in her career. She has won four of those tournaments.

If she holds on on Sunday it will be her first title of 2016 and the 11th of her career. She has had two runner-up finishes this year.

Lang is seeking her second career LPGA win. Second-round leader Shin is looking for her first victory, as is Park.

World No. 2 Park In Bee shot a 70 and is in sole possession of fifth at 10-under, four shots adrift of Ko.

Norway's Suzann Pettersen climbed up the leader board with a 66. She is tied for seventh place and Candie Kung shot the low round of the day with a 65, to be in a tie for 10th.