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