Lydia Ko took home the victory at the Gainbridge LPGA event on Sunday, adding win No. 17 to her list of career victories. At 24 years old, she’s the first player to reach 17 wins prior to the age of 25 since Nancy Lopez in 1979.
The 18th hole brought with it challenges, including the possibility of a tie, but Ko was able to get up and down out of the greenside bunker to save par. She finished at -14 overall.
As cool as you like 😎Watch the sand save that secured Lydia Ko's 17th Tour victory! 👇 pic.twitter.com/tfow37h9pG— LPGA (@LPGA) January 30, 2022
As cool as you like 😎Watch the sand save that secured Lydia Ko's 17th Tour victory! 👇 pic.twitter.com/tfow37h9pG
She recorded four birdies to shoot a 3-under 69 in the final round, holding off Danielle Kang who shot a 4-under 68 and finished one back of the victor at -13 overall.
“I tried to stay really patient out there and not get carried away on what everybody else was doing and just focus on my game, trying to make the lowest score I could,” said Ko. “I think that helped me really dial it in and just kind of stay in the present, which I think is really important, especially when other players are playing well and I’m not making many birdies.”
With the win, Ko has 21 of the 27 points needed to be considered for the LPGA Hall of Fame.
The runner-up finish for Kang comes one week after winning the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions.
“I played some really good golf out there. I hit some quality shots, today and yesterday,” Kang said. “I just couldn’t get some of the things going my way. I flag hunted really well and hit some good putts that didn’t go in. Yeah, I tried really hard out there.”
Yuka Saso (67) took third while Charley Hull and Celine Boutier tied for fourth at -11. World No. 1 Nelly Korda shot 2-under 76, finishing the week tied for 20th at -2. Korda is now expected to lose the No. 1 spot to Jin Young Ko.