Ko's play-off record intact in Canadian win

Lydia Ko of New Zealand celebrates her putt to beat Stacy Lewis (background, in yellow) on the first play-off hole at the Canadian Women's Open in Vancouver on Sunday. It was the third victory at the tournament in four years for the 18-year-old.
Lydia Ko of New Zealand celebrates her putt to beat Stacy Lewis (background, in yellow) on the first play-off hole at the Canadian Women's Open in Vancouver on Sunday. It was the third victory at the tournament in four years for the 18-year-old.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

VANCOUVER • Teenage prodigy Lydia Ko claimed her third Canadian Women's Open title but the first as a full-fledged member of the LPGA Tour when she edged out American Stacy Lewis in a thrilling play-off on Sunday.

The 18-year-old New Zealander and world No. 2 beat Lewis on the first play-off hole.

She added this year's title - and a cheque for US$337,500 (S$477,000) - to her 2013 win as an amateur in Edmonton and in 2012 when she won at age 15 on the same Vancouver Golf Club course.

"I made some really good up-and-downs on the front nine, I hit a good shot into three, but I couldn't really get anything going," said Ko. She was unable to take home the winner's cheque on the first two occasions because of her amateur status.

"I wasn't hitting anything close. I was, 'hey, I need to make some birdies.' Stacy played awesome, so did the other girls, so I knew I needed to play consistently, and that's what I tried to do."

If it was frustrating for Ko, it was even more so for Lewis, who now had a 0-3 record in play-offs.

Ko is 3-0.

Ko, who wore red as Tiger Woods does in his final rounds, made a short par putt on the play-off hole to record her third victory of the season and eighth of her LPGA career. She and Lewis both shot 12-under 276 totals.

"It has been such an amazing week," said the Auckland resident.

"I definitely share this win with everyone. I want to thank everyone for their support."

Lewis, who fired a final-round 67, missed a nine-foot par attempt before Ko made the winning three-foot putt.

"If you would have told me at the beginning of the day that I would be in a play-off, I would have been pretty happy," Lewis said.

"I left a few out there.

"I would have liked a better lie in the rough in the play-off.

"But other than that, it was pretty good," she added.

Defending champion Ryu So Yeon shot a final-round 64 and finished in a tie for third with fellow South Korean Kim Sei Young at 277. Alison Lee and Candie Kung, of Taiwan, tied for fifth at 10 under.

England's Charley Hull and China's Feng Shanshan tied for seventh at 279.

Canadian teenager Brooke Henderson fired a 67 to finish in a tie for 23rd at 284, eight shots back of the leaders. The 17-year-old was playing her first event as an LPGA Tour member after winning the Portland Classic the week before.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2015, with the headline 'Ko's play-off record intact in Canadian win'. Print Edition | Subscribe