New Zealand rep Emily Perry eagled the final hole in the third round today to head into the final round of the Lion Foundation New Zealand Stroke Play tied with World No.1 Lydia Ko.

Perry, who shot a five under 69 in round one to hold the lead, backed up her recent fine form to put the pressure on the superstar teen.

The 21-year-old from the Lochiel Golf Club came to Hastings on the back of a six shot win at the North Island Stroke Play at her home club and now has the chance to achieve a special win over her New Zealand team-mate Ko.

“I had three under 71 – I started off really well birdied one and three and had a bogey. I kept going and hung in there and made an eagle on the last.”

Perry, who last year became the first woman to win three Charles Tour events in a row, came up with a moment of magic on the 54th hole.

“I hit driver and I had nine iron into to about three feet and I holed the putt it was pretty awesome.”

She is focused about her chance to become the New Zealand Stroke Play champion tomorrow and upset Ko.

“It’s just all about my own game. I have got to focus on myself. I can definitely improve on a few things and I am confident.”

The World No.1 Ko, who held a one shot lead after Perry who shot a one over par 75 in round two, carded a three under par 71 and will be under pressure tomorrow as she tries to defend her title.

“ I shot two under today and I hit the ball well and my ball striking was really good but I just didn’t make the putts,” said the 14-year-old

“I’ve got no idea why. I tried to change things but it didn’t make any difference. I can feel my stroke is good but my line is not right. Lately my putting has not been that good so hopefully that will change tomorrow.”

Also in the mix is Chantelle Cassidy the third of the three girls who will represent New Zealand at the upcoming Queen Sirikit Cup.

The Tokoroa golfer had a two under par 72 to be only three shots back in outright third.



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