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Ko, Lewis push each other into Skirts lead

The SportsXchange

DALY CITY, Calif. -- One, Lydia Ko, just 17, is supposed to be the future of women's golf. The other, Stacy Lewis, 29, is very much the present.

Together, which is how they've been grouped through three rounds and will be today in the fourth, they're giving the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic an enthusiastic one-two punch.

Each shot a 4-under par 68 Saturday at Lake Merced Country Club, just across the city line from San Francisco. That left Lewis a shot in front of Ko at 10-under par 206 for 36 holes and both talking of how the competition helped her game.

"Man, on the back nine," said Lewis, a Texan. "We both started making putts. Lydia chipped in. It's just fun to feed off each other like that.

"She hits it in there close on 16. I know I need to do something. I make a putt, and she chips in on 15 after I've hit it close. More than anything, it was a lot of fun. We're both playing great golf."

Ko, who was named by Time a couple of days ago as one of the 100 most influential people, did not disagree.

"It was really fun watching Stacy play," said Ko, who turned pro only last October after having dominated women's amateur golf. "Kind of made me feel like I needed to play better."

After a day of rain and cold on Friday, the sun appeared Saturday, although the temperature didn't get much above 60. Still, the greens were smoother and the attitudes better.

Jenny Shin, who also shot 68 on the 6.500-yard course, was in third at 210, four behind Lewis, while Hee Young Park, after shooting a 68, sat at 212. Michelle Wie, who graduated from Stanford some 30 miles south of Lake Merced, and who won last week's LPGA event in her home state of Hawaii, was at 215, one-under par.

Lewis, who won the Ricoh British Open last summer, said she has known Ko since playing with her in the Canadian Open when Ko was 15.

"I was impressed," Lewis said. "I think the part of her game is her maturity. "She is fearless out there. She definitely doesn't play like she's 17."

Ko, born in Korean but a New Zealand citizen, said playing with Lewis is an advantage.

"It's really good for me as a rookie to play with a player like Stacy," Ko said. "It's a great opportunity for me to learn from another great player."

And to put on a show.

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