Ko fights back to deny Minjee Lee in Mediheal playoff

Lydia Ko has denied Australian Minjee Lee another victory on the LPGA Tour with a surprisingly piece of luck after her approach at the first play-off hole at the Mediheal Championship virtually sealed victory.

Ko, who has being winless for over two years on tour, pulled a rabbit out of her hat with a 200 metre 3 wood approach on the 461 metre par 5 18th that managed to slip through tree branches unscathed to land on the front apron of the tee and trickle to a metre from the hole for eagle.

Minjee Lee Australia’s Minjee Lee narrowly missed claiming her fourth LPGA title

The former child prodigy won 14 times before turning 20, but hasn’t secured a victory on the LPGA since the summer of 2016. Ko won her 15th LPGA Tour title following a 43-event stretch marked by constant changes in instructors, numerous arguments with caddies and continued experimentation with equipment.

Ko, the 54-hole leader after rounds 68-70-67, finished with a 71 in the final round that included three birdies in the final six holes yet she had a chance to give the tournament away after playing the first 12 holes in 2 over but was able to steady the ship to gain a much needed victory.

Lee, who was chasing a fourth LPGA title, shot a four-under-par 68 to finish regulation play tied at 12-under-par with Ko after both made birdies on the last.

On the first play-off hole, Lee hit her second shot into the rough near the right greenside bunker and managed to make a 6 metre putt for birdie but it proved too little too late following Ko’s approach which effectively snatched the victory from Lee.

With her win, Ko earned US$225,000 taking her career prizemoney to US$8,915,059 and is now ranked 13th on the women’s world rankings with Minjee Lee moving up two spots to 15th.