Lydia Ko capped off a memorable week in perhaps the only way that seemed fitting – with a win. Ko birdied the 18th hole to shoot a 3-under 69 in Sunday’s final round and defeat Rolex Rankings No. 3 Stacy Lewis by a stroke at the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.
It marked Ko’s third LPGA victory and her first as a member of the Tour. It also came in the same week that the New Zealander turned 17 and was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. One day after delivering an impressive show on the back nine at Lake Merced Golf Club, Lewis and Ko once again provided a duel to the finish. Ko made back-to-back birdies on 13 and 14 to move to 11-under and take a two-shot lead over Lewis, but the top-ranked American bounced back with a birdie on the 16th to cut that lead to one. Lewis had a chance to birdie 17 and tie Ko but missed the putt and then it all came down to the final hole with their playing partner, Jenny Shin, also in the mix. All three players hit their approach shots close on the par-5 with Shin and Lewis needing their birdie putts to tie Ko. But the newly turned 17-year-old didn’t leave the door open, sinking her own birdie putt to capture the win.