Ly­dia Ko downs Pres­sel in play­off for Swing­ing Skirts crown

The China Post - - SPORTS -

World No. 1 Ly­dia Ko birdied the sec­ond play­off hole to beat Mor­gan Pres­sel on Sun­day and win a sec­ond straight Swing­ing Skirts LPGA Clas­sic crown.

Ko, the New Zealand sen­sa­tion who turned 18 on Fri­day, earned her first victory as a pro­fes­sional at this event last year.

With the win she notched her sev­enth LPGA Tour ti­tle and fifth since the start of the 2014 sea­son.

She fired a two-un­der par 70 in the fi­nal round to fin­ish 72 holes tied with Pres­sel at eight-un­der par 280.

Pres­sel signed for a fourth round 72. She had birdie putts to win both in reg­u­la­tion and at the first play­off hole, but in­stead re­mains in search of her third LPGA Tour ti­tle and a first since 2008.

Brooke Hen­der­son, t he 17-year-old Canadian who led af­ter the sec­ond and third rounds, closed with a two-over par 74 to fin­ish third on seven-un­der 281.

South Korea’s Kwak Min-seo’s fi­nal-round 74 was good enough for fourth place on six-un­der 282, and China’s Feng Shan­shan was alone in fifth af­ter a 72 for 283.

Ko, chas­ing all day af­ter backto-back bo­geys to open the round, joined Pres­sel atop the leader­board with a 12-foot birdie putt at the fi­nal hole of reg­u­la­tion.

Pres­sel, play­ing in the last group just be­hind Ko, landed her ap­proach at 18 about 20 feet from the pin and couldn’t con­vert for the victory.

They re­turned to the par-five 18th for the first play­off hole, where Ko missed a long birdie putt for the win and Pres­sel then came up short on her 10-footer.

At 18 one more time, Ko hit her third shot to five feet be­fore Pres­sel left her about 10 feet away.

Pres­sel again couldn’t get the putt to drop, and Ko rat­tled hers in for the victory, im­prov­ing to 2-0 in LPGA play­offs.

AP

Ly­dia Ko, of New Zealand, poses for a photo with her tro­phy af­ter win­ning the Swing­ing Skirts LPGA Clas­sic golf tour­na­ment in Daly City, Cal­i­for­nia on Sun­day, April 26.

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