Lydia Ko leads JTBC Founders Cup

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Lydia Ko (Rob Carr/ Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Lydia Ko topped the crowded leaderboard in the JTBC Founders Cup, pulling ahead with two late birdies.

The 16-year-old New Zealander shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to reach 16-under 200 at Desert Ridge. She tapped in for birdie on the par-5 15th after missing an 8-foot eagle putt and took the outright lead with a 10-footer on the par-3 17th.

Ko won the Canadian Women’s Open as an amateur the last two years and took the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in December in Thailand in her second start as a professional. She has five victories in pro events, also winning in Australia and New Zealand.

Jessica Korda and Mirim Lee were a stroke back, and a dozen players were within four shots. Korda had a 66, and Lee shot 70.

Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ont. carded a third round 70. She tied for 42nd spot at 6-under-par.