Ko outlasts Jutanugarn, Lee in play­off

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

SYL­VA­NIA, OHIO — Ly­dia Ko out­lasted Ariya Jutanugarn and Mirim Lee to win the Marathon Classic on Sun­day for her fourth LPGA Tour vic­tory of the sea­son.

The top-ranked Ko made a 10-foot birdie putt on the fourth ex­tra hole af­ter Jutanugarn and Lee ran into trou­ble.

“Just to see a putt drop for birdie I think kind of got my emo­tions go­ing,” Ko said. “I’m not re­ally a huge fist-pump kind of person, but I think it’s prob­a­bly the big­gest fist-pump I’ve ever done.”

Also the 2014 win­ner, Ko closed with a 2un­der 69 at High­land Mead­ows to match Jutanugarn and Lee at 14-un­der 270. They played the par-5 18th four more times to fi­nally de­cide the win­ner.

“Not a very easy hole,” Ko said. “I think we were all get­ting a lit­tle bit phys­i­cally and men­tally tired as we were con­tin­u­ing to play the same hole.”

Ko has 14 LPGA Tour ti­tles. The 19-yearold New Zealan­der is 4-1 in play­offs, with the loss com­ing to Brooke Hen­der­son of Smiths Falls, Ont., this year in the KPMG Women’s PGA.

Ko missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the third ex­tra hole, send­ing the trio back to the 18th tee for the fi­nal time. Jutanugarn had a good chance on the sec­ond play­off hole, but missed an 8-footer.

“It was hard to just see so many putts just slip by,” Ko said. “I said, ‘Hey, maybe she’s go­ing to win.’ And then it just slipped by. ‘Maybe I’m go­ing to win.’ And it slipped by. To see that putt drop on the last hole was a cool feel­ing.”

Ko opened with rounds of 68, 66 and 67 to en­ter the day three strokes be­hind Hyo Joo Kim. Ko birdied three of the first six holes, while Kim had three bo­geys on the stretch. Ko birdied the par-4 ninth, bo­geyed the par-3 14th and 16th and fin­ished with two pars.

Maude-Aimee Le­blanc of Sher­brooke, Que., and Hamil­ton’s Alena Sharp were the top Cana­di­ans at 7 un­der, good for 11th place. Hen­der­son fin­ished even while Que­bec City’s Anne Cather­ine Tan­guay was 2 over.

LORI KING, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ly­dia Ko, pic­tured, out­lasted Ariya Jutanugarn and Mirim Lee to win Sun­day for her fourth LPGA Tour vic­tory of the sea­son.

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