• Defeats Morgan Pressel in a play-off in San Francisco
• Strengthens position as world No.1 two days after 18th birthday
Lydia Ko successfully defended her title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic just two days after her 18th birthday with a play-off victory over Morgan Pressel.
The Kiwi started the final round three shots behind Brooke Henderson and started bogey-bogey but fought back impressively to card a two-under par round of 70 – including a birdie at the last – to force a play-off with Pressel, who was level par for her final round.
After pars apiece at the first play-off hole, Ko then birdied the second to grab her seventh LPGA Tour title and her second of 2015 after clinching the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open in mid-February.
"To be in a playoff, that was double the pressure" - Lydia Ko
“Every hole is pretty nerve-wracking, but to be in a playoff, that was double the pressure,” Lydia Ko said. “Morgan had been playing so well the whole week and she's a tough player to beat, but I tried to concentrate on my game.”
“It was a pretty bad start, you know. Last year after four holes I was one over, then two, but I was able to bring it back with some good birdies. I think for me, that No.3 tee shot was the crucial shot where I said, ‘don't worry about what just happened, just keep going, there are some birdies out there’.”
Ko also tweeted:
As a result of the win, Ko has strengthened her position as world No.1 – where she has spent 13 weeks now – and runner-up Pressel was quick to congratulate the young New Zealander.
“She's very, very impressive and always there,” Pressel said. “At her age, she plays with so much poise and calmness I don't think you see from other kids her age.
“She's a very strong putter, I'm sure her fairway stats are very high, and she gives herself lots of looks at birdies.”
Ko now has seven top tens in eight events so far in 2015, highlighting her growing dominance in the women’s game.
Lydia Ko :: Unstoppable?
With another win added to her collection, is Lydia Ko now an unstoppable force in the women’s game? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.