Ko sets more LPGA records with 4th career win

New Zealand’s Lydia Ko has again proven to be unflappable when it matters most, calmly pitching to within four feet on the par-five final hole for birdie and ultimately, for victory at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio.

The world number two signed for a six-under 65 and then watched on as Korea’s So Yeon Ryu, playing a hole behind her, missed a six-footer at the last for birdie that would have tied Ko at 15-under par 269.

Lydia Ko Lydia Ko (Credit: Callaway Golf)

The winner’s cheque of $US210,000 for the fourth win of her career and second of the season also made her the youngest player (17 years, 2 months, 26 days) to reach $US1 million in prize money, eclipsing the record set by American Lexi Thompson, who was 18 at the time.

The mantle is all the more meritorious when you consider the two substantial winner’s cheques Ko didn’t collected after claiming back-to-back Canadian Opens as an amateur.

Not that she sees much of the prizemoney now that she’s turned professional in what is almost certainly a ‘Rookie of the Year’ winning season in the making. The bounty apparently goes into her mother’s account and Ko receives pocket money like any normal teenager, with a bonus $10 for every hole under par she finishes in a tournament.

“I think its $10 per under par I shoot,” she said. “I mean, we totally forgot about that. Then like about a month ago I was like, ‘Mom, what’s going on? I need this.’ I mean, I guess finishing 15-under is $150 extra.”

“It’s good, I mean, to me that’s kind of more fun, thinking about pocket money and getting money off your mum, that’s exciting for me. I’m not going to spend a million dollars on something like buying a diamond ring… Maybe I might get something electronic.”

Despite her miss at the final hole, Ryu shot a closing 67 to finish runner-up at 14-under while American Cristie Kerr also shot 67 to take out 3rd place at 13-under.

Queensland’s Katherine Kirk shot four rounds in the 60s for her best finish of the season, shooting 11-under par to tie for 4th place, while Victorian Lindsey Wright was a shot further back in a tie for 7th in a group that included last week’s Women’s British Open champion, Mo Martin.

The LPGA will debut a new event next week – the International Crown – featuring global teams of four competing in a bi-annual matchplay series. Australia will be represented by Karrie Webb, Minjee Lee, Lindsey Wright and Katherine Kirk and will be seeded seventh.