ROGERS, Ar. – It’s lucky number 13 for Lydia Ko.
The world No.1 captured her 13th career win on the LPGA Tour at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Sunday.
Ko carded a final round three-under par, 68 to win at 17-under par for the Championship, setting a new low Tournament scoring record in Arkansas which was previously set at 15-under par.
Ko’s victory marks the third of the year for the 19-year-old who also won the Kia Classic and ANA Inspiration in back-to-back weeks earlier this year. In the span of just six months Ko has won three times on Tour, which is the fastest she’s reached three wins in a season, taking until August and November to pick up her third victory in 2015 and 2014.
“Yesterday I had a hot back nine and today I had a hot front nine,” Ko told the media. “But, you know, I think as soon as I ‑‑ after a few holes, to the back nine, I think the sun kind of got to me a little bit.
“I could definitely feel the heat. I was kind of grinding out there and I think ‑‑ I hit the ball really well on the front nine but I didn’t hit it that well on the back, and that kind of happened for my second shot on the last hole. Not the most fanciest way to finish off a championship, but I’m just going to think of it as me bogeying another hole.”
Ko, who was tied with Morgan Pressel at 14-under to start the day, came out firing and took control early in the round. She birdied four of her first five holes to extend the lead to four shots and never turned back.
She picked up her first of three bogeys on the day on the par 3 6th hole and Pressel followed it up with a birdie on No. 7 to cut the lead to two shots.
Ko and Pressel exchanged birdies on both Nos. 8 and 10 to keep the margin at two shots but Pressel stumbled down the stretch with four consecutive bogeys on Nos. 11-14.
“I had high hopes certainly, and I felt like I played pretty well for nine holes,” said Pressel. “Hung in there, but then I just couldn’t keep it going and couldn’t get lucky as I had been getting lucky. It just wasn’t my day.”
Ko’s back nine wasn’t as memorable as she would like, closing with a bogey on the 18th to drop to 17-under par but the Kiwi was more than pleased to take home career victory No. 13.to grind my way out,” said Ko. “It’s not really the fanciest finish, finishing up with a six, but I just think of it as me bogeying another hole, but it was a great week and I love coming back here.”