Lydia Ko has won her 17th LPGA Tour title after defeating Danielle Kang by one shot at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in Florida.
After landing in two bunkers on the final hole, giving Kang a chance to send the tournament into a playoff, Ko safely chipped onto the green leaving her a short putt for par.
Kang then had a birdie putt but missed it to the left which gave Ko the shortest of putts for victory.
The victory has moved Ko to ninth on the LPGA Tour All-Time Career Earnings List with $12,668,796 and is six points shy of qualifying for the LPGA Hall of Fame.
Ko shot 4 birdies and a bogey on her way to victory in Florida with a 3-under 69 and finishing on 14-under for the tournament.
Speaking after the win, Ko was asked again about retirement and securing the place in the hall of fame.
“Obviously I have to play well to win, to kind of collect those points along the way,” Ko explained after the victory.
“All those awards and accolades and being in the Hall of Fame is great and not many people are there. If I could have my name alongside the many amazing legends in the Hall of Fame, it would be a huge honour.
“I know there are still things in my game I want to improve and get better at to kind of give myself a run for it.
“My mum did ask me the other day, she said, Hey, what if you’re near retirement age and you’re one point off. Are you going to keep playing? I think I just have to be realistic at that point, so I think I can get this done or not.
“When I’m out there playing I’m just trying to make as many birdies as I can and shoot the best score and just enjoy being out here. If I can get all the other things done at the same time it is a bonus.”
For 24-year-old Ko, the victory is a continuation of the turnaround in form that began following the tour shut down due to the coronavirus in 2020. Ko secured a new coach and a new way of thinking about her game and what she wanted to achieve.
“I think last year was kind of a big turnaround year for me,” Ko continued.
“Even the fall of 2020. When we had that long time off I think it was kind of a time for me to look back at what are the things I need to work on and just take a whole new approach to things.
“Started working with Sean, and I think he’s been a huge help in the technical standpoint getting me to a point where I feel like it’s natural and I’m not trying to make positions. At the same time, him clearing some of the questions and the not-so-good ideas in my head as well.
“So, yeah, I feel like it’s been much more consistent and last year. I feel like even though I didn’t win on the LPGA at the end of the year, I put myself in contention quite a bit.
“I think when you keep knocking on the door you feel like at one point it’s going to open.”