Golf: Nomura holds off Ko to land first LPGA title

Haru Nomura defeated Lydia Ko to win the Women's Australian Open in Adelaide on Feb 21, 2016.
Haru Nomura defeated Lydia Ko to win the Women's Australian Open in Adelaide on Feb 21, 2016. PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

(REUTERS) - Japanese golfer Haru Nomura held off world No. 1 Lydia Ko down the stretch to land the Women's Australian Open in Adelaide on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title.

Nomura, starting the day in a three-way tie for the lead, shot a blistering final-round seven-under 65 as she edged out Ko (67), the defending champion, by three shots.

Ko was only one back after 14th hole but world No. 67 Nomura calmly made three consecutive birdie threes from the 15th to pull away from her illustrious opponent and seal the top prize with a 16-under 272 total.

"My shots were good, but my putts were so good I couldn't believe it," Nomura was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.

Seven-time Major champion Karrie Webb of Australia finished a distant third, seven back of the 23-year-old champion, after a closing 71.