Golf: Ko Jin Young savours maiden LPGA Tour win at the KEB Hana Bank Championship

Ko Jin-Young of South Korea during the awards ceremony after winning the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship at Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon on Oct 15, 2017.
Ko Jin-Young of South Korea during the awards ceremony after winning the LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship at Sky72 Golf Club in Incheon on Oct 15, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

Seoul (AFP) - South Korea's Ko Jin Young secured her first LPGA Tour victory on Sunday (Oct 15), defeating world No. 2 and compatriot Park Sung Hyun by two shots in the KEB Hana Bank Championship.

Ko, who entered the final round with a two-shot lead, bogeyed two of her first three holes to drop two strokes behind a fast-starting Park.

But she came back with a barrage of birdies to fire a sizzling four-under par 68.

Ko, a nine-time winner on the local KLPGA Tour, gained five shots in an eight-hole stretch from the fifth before posting a 19-under total of 269 on the par-72 Ocean Course at the SKY72 Golf & Resort in Incheon, South Korea.

"I've competed in the LPGA Tour several times but I'm honoured to win in Korea," the 22-year-old told reporters.

"I am very happy to have played a good game in front of many fans," she added.

Park, who was seeking her third LPGA Tour victory of the year and was chasing the No. 1 title for the first time, was denied both goals and settled for second place after ending the round with a 68.

"Although I finished second, I think I played well. But there were some regrettable holes near the end," Park said.

The 24-year-old played flawlessly over the first 13 holes with four birdies, but a three-putt bogey at the 14th put the brakes on her title bid.

Two-time Major champion and home favourite Chun In Gee finished third with a 69 on a sunny and breezy day.

Spaniard Carlota Ciganda, who clinched victory in last year's LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship, tied for eighth with a final-round 72.