TAIPEI • Lydia Ko cantered to a nine-stroke victory at the LPGA Taiwan Championship yesterday to take back the women's world No. 1 spot from South Korean Park In Bee.
Ko started the final round with a four-stroke advantage and then carded a seven-under 65 for a total of 268, which also made the New Zealander the first player to win five times this season.
"I have played consistently well over the last couple of weeks and it's something we can all celebrate and I want to share this with my whole team," the 18-year-old said after her win.
Ko needed to win or finish second in Taiwan to move ahead of Park, who did not play in the tournament, and she could not have asked for a better start in the final round.
She sank four birdies in her first six holes. Her only bogey of the day came at the seventh, but she eagled the 12th and picked up two more strokes with birdies at the 14th and 18th for the best-of-the-day 65.
Ko also became the youngest player to win 10 Tour titles, taking that honour from Nancy Lopez. The American won the 10th of her 48 titles when she was 22.
"I actually met her in Cleveland a couple of months ago. She's such an amazing person and amazing golfer, so to have beaten her record it's an honour," Ko said after pocketing a cheque for US$300,000 (S$419,370) for the victory.
South Koreans Ji Eun Hee (70) and Ryu So Yeon (68) finished tied for second spot at 277.
Britain's Charley Hull carded a 70 for an aggregate 278 and solo fourth place.