Published : 2013-08-26 09:46
Updated : 2013-08-26 10:48
South Korean-born New Zealander Lydia Ko claimed her second straight CN Canadian Women's Open title on the LPGA Tour in Edmonton on Sunday.
The 16-year-old cruised to a five-shot win over Karine Icher of France with a four-round total of 15-under 265 at the par-70 Royal Mayfair Golf Club. Ko fired a blistering 64 in the final round, which included seven birdies against one bogey. It was the lowest score recorded on Sunday.
At last year's CN Canadian Women's Open, held in Vancouver, Ko became the youngest-ever winner on the LPGA Tour at 15 years and four months, and also the first amateur winner on the pro tour since JoAnne Carner in 1969.
Ko, with four professional wins under her belt, has been the world's top-ranked amateur since 2011. Since she remains an amateur, Icher, the runner-up, will cash in the winner's check of US$300,000.
With this win Ko is projected to jump from No. 19 to No. 7 in the world rankings. She has so far played in 14 LPGA events in 2012 and 2013, and has never missed a cut.
Born Ko Bo-kyung in Seoul, the teenager moved to New Zealand with her family at age six.
Ko began the final round tied in second place with Suzann Pettersen of Norway, two shots behind Caroline Hedwall of Sweden.
The teenager poured in three straight birdies starting on the second hole, and after two more birdies on the front nine, Ko made the turn at 14-under.
Hedwall struggled to a 71 in the final round with three bogeys and only two birdies. Pettersen was at 11-under after her first nine holes but lost four shots on the back nine, with a double bogey on the 14th and bogeys on the 15th and the 17th.
Kim In-kyung was the best South Korean at 8-under, tied with Stacy Prammanasudh in fifth place. Second-rounder leader Park In-bee went 74-70 on the weekend to end at 4-under, in a four-way tie for 13th place.
At the post-tournament press conference, Ko said she exceeded her own goal in the final round and surprised herself.
"I played some really good golf out there, so I was really happy about that," she said. "My goal today was to shoot 5-under and just play my own game. If somebody else shot better, then I can't do anything about it."
The teenager made even more history in Canada, becoming the first amateur to capture two LPGA Tour events. Ko, however, said she "never really thought about making history."
"History is -- I don't know where it starts. It's awesome to be a part of history," she said. "There are so many big names among those, so it's such an honor."
Ko also said it doesn't bother her at all that If she had been a pro, she could have made $600,000 from her two Canadian Women's Open victories. When asked about making the decision to turn pro, Ko said she would defer to her parents.
"I've got some people above me like my mom and dad; they're the boss," she said. "They're going to help me to make the right decision and to turn pro at what time. I think as I'm only 16 still, it's quite hard to make huge decisions. Hopefully we'll make a really good decision on when I will turn pro." (Yonhap News)