Lydia Ko won her 13th LPGA title of her career at the Arkansas Championship on Sunday, winning by three strokes over second-placed Candie Kung and Morgan Pressel.
‘Yesterday I had a hot back nine and today I had a hot front nine,’ Ko said after her round. ‘On the back nine, I think the sun kind of got to me a little bit. Not the fanciest way to finish off a championship, but I’m just going to think of it as me bogeying another hole.’
The New Zealander started the final round tied for the lead with Pressel, but four birdies in her first five holes pushed her ahead of the chasing pack. Pressel faltered with a bogey on the second before picking up three birdies on the front nine to make the turn at 16-under-par. Ko had also slipped after her blistering start with a bogey at the sixth, but picked the shot back up at the eighth with another birdie to make the turn at 18-under-par.
Kung came home in 32 strokes to set the initial clubhouse target at 14-under-par. Pressel’s chances went up in smoke when she bogeyed four in a row from the 11th to the 14th. Ko could afford another bogey on the 18th, as she coasted to a three shot victory thanks to a final round 68.
South Africans performed well on the weekend, with Lee-Anne Pace recording a top-15 result and Paula Reto finishing just outside the top 30.
Paarl-born Pace ended share 13th after breaking 70 in all three rounds. Her Sunday 68 included four birdies and a single bogey as she finished at 11-under-par, six shots behind Ko.
Reto also recorded three rounds in the sixties, but unfortunately dropped two shots on her homeward stretch to finish in a tie for 32nd on seven-under-par.