Our very own Lydia Ko has fired a final round of 65 to triumph by five shots at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International and won herself more than $180,000 (NZD).
Her second tournament victory for the year after winning the Lotte Championship at Hawaii in April.
Ko, who is currently seventh in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, began the day on 16-under-par and started well with a birdie on the first.
The two-time Major winner continued her fine form with birdies at five and seven before she sank an eagle putt on the par-five ninth to make the turn in 31 (-5).
Another birdie on the 10th gave Ko a six-shot lead and she rolled in her final birdie on the 13th to post a winning total of 23-under-par.
“When I was out there, I was just trying to play the best golf that I can,” Ko said.
“I knew a lot of the top names were playing really well and this is a golf course where there’s a fair amount of birdies, so I was just trying to have my fair share of them and have fun out there.
“It helps when you’re going into the final round with a four-shot cushion, you could shoot the same score as others, but you have those shots from the last three days.
“I birdied the first hole and holed two really good putts for par on two and three which really set the momentum up, and from there I tried not to look back and just go forward.”
Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul rounded off another successful week on Tour with a second-place finish after a final round of 66 (-6).
Despite beginning her round with a bogey, the teenager rolled in a birdie on the second before an eagle on the fourth.
The 18-year-old made three more birdies on the front nine, only dropping a shot on the sixth to make the turn in 32 (-4) and Thitikul rolled in three more birdies and one bogey on the back nine to finish at 18-under-par.
“I just did my best out there today with every single shot, but Lydia was absolutely brilliant,” said the four-time LET winner.
“I learned a lot from her today, Lydia Ko has one of the best short games ever, her putting was brilliant, and every approach shot she played this week, I can definitely learn to get better from her.”
As a result of finishing second, Thitikul has an unassailable lead in the 2021 Race to Costa del Sol, the Ladies European Tour end of year ranking system, with 3,264.46 points to her name.
Therefore, the Thai star has clinched the crown for the 2021 season and in the process becomes the youngest ever winner of the title.
“It’s an honour and it’s a really amazing feeling to win the Race to Costa del Sol this year in my rookie season as well, words can’t really describe it,” she added.
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Ko now heads back to the US for the final two tournaments of the 2021 LPGA Tour.