Date: August 27, 2012
Author: Omnisport

Victorious Ko makes history in Canada

Teenage sensation Lydia Ko became the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour, and the first New Zealander, as she blitzed a field of experienced professionals to win the Canadian Open. Ko went into the final round with a one-stroke lead and produced a stunning five-under 67 at the Vancouver Golf Club to win by three. Two early birdies kept the 15-year-old ahead of her nearest chaser, South Korean Chella Choi, although a bogey at the par-three seventh saw the pair tied at nine under at the turn. In an incredible display of nerveless golf, Ko rattled off four birdies in a row from the 10th and also birdied the 15th before a bogey at the last when victory was already secure. She was one behind the lead on the first day with a 68, followed it up with the same score to share the halfway lead, had some putting woes in a third round 72 but stormed up on Sunday for a sublime four-round total of 14-under 274. Choi faded to a tie for third at eight-under after making three bogies in her final five holes. Fellow South Korean Inbee Park was second on her own at 10-under, with a final round 69, and the tie for third also included South Koreans Na Yeon Choi, Jiyai Shin and American Stacy Lewis. As an amateur, Ko is unable to claim a slice of the $US2,000,000 prize pool but it is nonetheless another accolade in an already outstanding career. At the start of 2012, still shy of her 15th birthday, Ko became the youngest ever winner of a professional tournament both male or female when she took out the NSW Open. Since then she has become the second youngest US Amateur champion and was also the low amateur at her debut major, the US Open. She is also the fifth amateur to win an LPGA Tour event and the first since JoAnne Carner took out the Burdine&aposs Invitational way back in 1969. Her achievements would make her a front-runner for Sportswoman of the Year at the Halberg Awards if they had not come in an Olympic year. The golden credentials of the likes of kayaker Lisa Carrington, shot putter Valerie Vili along with sailing duo Olivia Powrie and Jo Aleh may prove to be more alluring but that can take nothing away from Ko&aposs amazing achievements. Click for LIVE SCORES