Lydia Ko ended her three-year LPGA title drought in spectacular type Saturday, firing a final-round 65 to win the Lotte Championship by seven strokes.
Former world primary Ko, a two-time main champion, did not put a foot flawed as she notched her sixteenth LPGA title however her first for the reason that 2018 Mediheal Championship.
Her 28-under par complete of 260 at Kapolei Golf Club in Oahu, Hawaii, put her seven in entrance of South Korean’s Park In-bee and Kim Sei-young, Ireland’s Leona Maguire and American Nelly Korda.
Ko took a one-shot lead over Korda into the ultimate spherical, however because the American struggled on the greens Ko marched relentlessly to victory.
She pushed her result in two with a four-foot birdie on the third gap, then saved par from the entrance fringe on the fourth earlier than taking agency management with 4 birdies in a row on the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth.
She added birdies at 14 and 17 for good measure, admitting that there had been instances throughout her lengthy, extremely scrutinized dry spell that she questioned if the victories would come once more.
“There were times that I would think ‘Hey, I don’t know if I’ll ever be back in the winner’s circle,” stated Ko, the previous teen phenomenon who continues to be per week shy of her twenty fourth birthday.
Near misses on the Gainbridge LPGA and the ANA Inspiration did not essentially ease her issues, Ko stated, noting that “when you’re in that position and it doesn’t happen, you do doubt.”
Relaxed and smiling all through a lot of the spherical, Ko was clearly emotional after her closing putt dropped on 18.
“I just continued to stick to my game plan, and I think this kind of proves it to myself and that’s the biggest thing,” she stated.
Korda, in search of a second victory of the season after beating Ko by three strokes on the Gainbridge LPGA, could not apply the identical strain on Ko that she did on Friday.
With the putts not falling, she was one-over on the entrance 9 after a bogey on the eighth and trailing by 4 on the flip.
She adopted a birdie on the eleventh with back-to-back bogeys at 12 and 13, birdies at 14, 15 and 17 pushing her again right into a share of second.
Park had roared to 21-under with a nine-under 63 that featured an eagle and 7 birdies — together with three to cap her spherical.
Kim joined the group at 21-under with a bogey-free seven-under 65 that included an eagle and 5 birdies.
Maguire grabbed her share of second with an eagle on the par-five seventeenth, to go with 4 birdies and a bogey.
Yuka Saso of the Philippines, who led after the primary two rounds, completed with a two-under 70 to affix a gaggle on 269 alongside South Korean Jenny Shin (63), Taiwan’s Hsu Wei-Ling (66) and American Sarah Schmelzel (66).