Lydia Ko downs Pressel in playoff for Swinging Skirts crown
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.
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.