Lydia Ko etched her name into the record books once again with her dramatic victory and second major championship title at the ANA Inspiration.
Ko birdied the 72nd hole to get to 12-under par and finished one shot ahead of Charley Hull and In Gee Chun.
With her win, Ko becomes the youngest two-time major winner in LPGA history (18y/11m/9d) and the youngest male or female with two major wins since Young Tom Morris in 1869. It is her 12th career LPGA victory and second this season, having won last week’s Kia Classic.
She made history with her first major win last September at the Evian Championship but said the second was just as sweet. She closed with a final-round, bogey-free 69.
“It’s amazing. You know, you can’t really rank them,” said Ko. “Every one of them is special, and every event is so different, so unique, and I think obviously winning this event is great, but obviously jumping into the Poppies Pond, that kind of tradition will definitely be one of the highlights of my career.
But I’ve never really played well at this course before, so just to know that, hey, I can still play well at a course that I haven’t really played well before I think gives me the confidence.”
Ko started the day just one shot behind third-round leader Lexi Thompson and capitalized early on Thompson’s shaky start, making birdies on No. 5 and 8 to take the solo lead at 11-under par. But a mid-round surge of three-consecutive birdies by Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn and a nine-hole streak with no birdies for Ko changed the momentum. Jutanugarn walked to the 16th tee with a two-shot lead but poor tee shots on both the 16th and 17th holes led to bogeys and dropped her to 11-under and into a tie with Charley Hull, who was in the clubhouse, and Ko, who was on No. 18.
Hull's runner-up finish at the ANA Inspiration also marked her career-best finish on the LPGA. Hull shot a final-round, 3-under 69 to finish one shot behind Ko and in a tie for second with In Gee Chun.
“I feel like I’ve been playing great all season, like I put a lot of good work in over Christmas and over New Year, so I feel confident in my game,” said Hull. “I feel like I’m in a good place outside of golf, as well. Like with my friends, I feel like that helps me relax on the golf course, also.”
Hull was 2-over through her first four holes of her final round but rallied on the back nine with four birdies. She said delivering down the stretch and under pressure was a huge takeaway from the week.
“I’m happy because I played some great golf on that back nine. It kind of started from the ninth hole where I made birdie there,” said Hull. “I’m happy. I feel like I can -- I know I can play well under pressure now when I have to get it going, I think, so it kind of helps me with that, making birdies in when you’re down, and that’s what I kind of did out there today.
I’m happy I holed that putt on the last, and I’m proud of myself. It feels great. Lydia hit a great shot into the last, and she should be proud of herself.”
For full scores visit www.lpga.com
Win a chance to play with Charley Hull. Read More