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.
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.