Lydia Ko wins maiden title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic
Lydia Ko is making professional golf seem easy after making quick work of claiming her maiden title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.
Playing only her sixth event as a pro, the New Zealander carded an impressive three-under-par 69 to finish on 12 under for the tournament – one shot ahead of Stacy Lewis with Jenny Shin at 10 under.
Ko, who turned 17 on Thursday, was named as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people a few days ago, and she made it a memorable week with victory in California.
Beginning the day a single shot off the pace behind Lewis, Ko had a mixed front nine and three birdies. When she landed another bogey at the 10th, however, her nerves seemed to settle and she succeeded in three further birdies to earn herself the title.
Ko is now number two in the world, and said: "I don't think I could have a better birthday week. It's just a really special week for me."
Speaking on LPGA.com, she added: "To kind of have my first LPGA win since I turned pro here again I think is great. I think they're a great group of people, and I think it was a great golf course to win it."
Lewis finished with three birdies and two bogeys while Shin’s round of 68 included five birdies.
"I've had a couple good finishes here these last couple tournaments I've played in," Lewis said. "The golf is there. Just got to keep putting myself [in contention] and giving myself chances."
World number one Inbee Park was also on show and she produced a 68 in a three-way tie for fourth with Line Vedel and Shanshan Feng.