It nearly felt just like the fiftieth anniversary of the ANA (*62*) had two champions. While Patty Tavatanakit placed on a exceptional show of energy, finesse and poise to win the title, Lydia Ko put collectively the lowest final round in LPGA major championship history, a 10-under 62.
A “Hello World” second from the Tiger-inspired Tavatanakit juxtaposed with a resurrection round from Ko, a one-time prodigy who at 23 years outdated regarded to finish a three-year victory drought three hours after Jordan Spieth did the identical in Texas.
The unflappable Tavatanakit ultimately went wire-to-wire to win by two after a closing 68, changing into the primary rookie to win the ANA since Juli Inkster in 1984.
Ko started the round birdie-eagle after which notched 4 extra birdies to publish the primary 29 in ANA history. She was 9 beneath by means of 11 holes and inside two pictures of the lead after beginning the day eight pictures behind Tavatanakit.
Another birdie on the 15th made every kind of history properly inside Ko’s grasp. Given that that is a participant who rewrote ever youngest-to-ever record in golf history, something appeared potential.
Even a 59.
When Ko stepped to the reachable par-5 18th tee, probably the most iconic gap on the LPGA, an eagle would’ve given her a 12-under 60, the lowest round in major championship history – male or feminine. A birdie would’ve tied her with Hyo Joo Kim’s major record of 61. A par tied the match record of 62 set by Lorena Ochoa.
Ko’s drive sailed left off the tee into a flock of birds, leaving these at house no selection however to maintain their breath as she bypassed a cluster of palms and got here completely too shut to the water.
After a layup, Ko hit a wedge from slightly below 100 yards to 22 toes. The birdie putt slid by and Ko’s possibilities at successful the match seemingly went with it. Her bogey-free 62, nevertheless, is the lowest final round in LPGA major history, besting her personal record of 63 (2015 Evian Championship) and shared by Mary Beth Zimmermann, 1997 ANA (*62*) and Sei Young Kim, 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
“No, 59 did not come across my mind,” stated Ko. “Maybe if I was like Annika, it would have come across my mind, I don’t know.”
Tavatanakit stated she didn’t have a clue what Ko was up to forward of her, not wanting at a leaderboard all day. The truth that there have been no followers on the course made that potential. Ko would’ve had the place rocking.
Where does a round like this take the standard Ko?
So few stars discover a method to re-build themselves to a stage of domination after so lengthy a drought. But then once more, Ko is in contrast to some other participant who has come earlier than her.
Time and once more she credit her work with Sean Foley, as a lot for how he helps her mentally as the rest. Earlier in the week, Foley instructed her she wanted to have 100% conviction over each shot, correcting Ko’s use of the phrase dedication.
“I think the area that Sean has really helped me is to sometimes call me and he’ll say a few things and I’ll be like, ‘Whoa, that was way too much.’ Not like technical stuff, but he kind of gives me like a word slap, like wake up, and I think that’s what we all need at some point,” stated Ko. “Sometimes you just get in the way of your way.
Lydia Ko walks to the 18th green on Sunday, April 4, 2021, at ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)
“I know that sometimes I get in the way of myself, and at the end of the day all I can do is – it’s me against the golf course, and sometimes the me part is the really hard thing to get over. He’s been really helpful to clear those questions and kind of build the confidence in me.”
As Ko fielded questions after her record round, she saved an eye fixed on the 18th inexperienced. When Tavatanakit clinched the title, Ko broke into a smile and began to clap.
Champions in each sense of the phrase.