Lydia Ko notches top-five finish at Pelican Championship on LPGA Tour

Sophia Popov surges to first-round lead at Pelican Women's Championship

Sophia Popov rolled in five straight birdies on the front nine for a career best 18-hole score of 64 and a two-stroke lead after the first round of the LPGA Tour's inaugural Pelican Women's Open.

Ko carded a near flawless third round 66 to sit at seven under and fourth overall, with a double bogey on the 13th hole the only blemish on her scorecard.

The second-ranked Kim, making her first start since winning the KPMG Women's PGA a month and half ago at Aronimink for her first major title, shot a 5-under 65 at Pelican Golf Club to take a one-stroke lead over McDonald into the weekend.

There was a brief stumble with a bogey five on the par-four second, McDonald's 11th hole, but the 28-year-old from MS recovered to pick up her fifth birdie on the par-five seventh.

Ko had two birdies and a bogey in the final round to end the tournament at eight-under, six shots adrift of victor Sei Young Kim. "I think mentally I've never felt as freed up as I do now".

Kim had an 8-under 132 total in the first-year tournament originally set for the same week as the PGA Championship in May.

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"After I made that birdie it was a little more comfortable and then I felt back, had a good feeling back".

Two more birdies in the back nine and another bogey in the 16th hole closed out the round for Pagdanganan. "I just want to think about focus on myself and what I have to do". "Just kept my cool on my front nine, the back nine, and was able to make some birdies coming in, which was nice".

Kim, who started the day with a five-shot advantage on the field, bounced through an even-par round of 70 that featured three birdies and three bogeys.

A birdie at the first was offset by a rare bogey at the next, although Kim atoned at the sixth as Ally McDonald hit back from an early blemish with a run of three birdies in four holes that merely trimmed the deficit to four shots. You have to miss it in the right spot, and I feel like I missed it in the wrong spot a few times.

Canadians Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp and Australia's Minjee Lee topped the group at 68.

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