LYDIA MOVES UP
Life is on the up for Lydia Ko as she shot a final-round five-under 66 and record another strong finish at the LPGA Tour's NW Arkansas Championship playing at the Pinnacle Country Club.
However, Lydia could not quite produce the powerful round she needed to contend at the end after starting the last day six shots back of the leaders.
A nice finish with a birdie at the final hole, courtesy of a nice up and down from off the green, enabled Lydia to climb into a six-way tie for ninth in the tournament won by Japan's Nasa Hataoka.
It is Ko's fourth top-10 finish in her last six starts on the tour and is a solid follow-up on her third-place finish at the Meijer Classic last start out.
The now 21-year-old birdied the par-3 3rd, the par-5 7th and the par-4 9th to turn in three under for her final round. She picked up another shot at the par-3 11th, but had to wait until the 18th for her final red number after rattling off six consecutive pars.
Nasa Hataoka however raced away to record her first career tour victory by six shots with a blistering final-round eightunder 63 seeing her finish on 21 under for the tournament. The world No 30 from Japan had eight birdies and 10 pars in a blemish-free round for the most significant result in her career.
American Austin Ernst finished second, a half-dozen shots back on 15 under, after firing a final-round 65.
Six golfers were a shot back in a tie for third on 13 under par, including Americans Lexi Thompson, Ryann O'Toole, Brittany Altomare and Ally McDonald, as well as German Sandra Gal and Aussie Minjee Lee.