Lydia Ko romps to Saudi Ladies International victory while 18-year-old makes history

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The New Zealand golfer shot a closing spherical bogey-free seven-under 65 to win on 23-under par forward of Thailand’s 18-year-old Atthaya Thitikul.
World No. 7 Ko started Sunday 4 pictures forward of the pack after a surprising round of 63 on Saturday to equal the Royal Greens Golf & Nation Membership course report.

And three birdies within the opening seven holes solidified the two-time main winner’s lead, earlier than an eagle on the ninth and birdies on 10 and 13 sealed the victory.

Her victory on the occasion, which boasts one of many richest prizes on the Girls European Tour (LET) schedule (a $1 million USD prize fund), is her second of the season.

“After I was on the market, I used to be simply making an attempt to play the perfect golf that I can,” the 24-year-old said. “I knew a whole lot of the highest names had been enjoying rather well and this can be a golf course the place there is a honest quantity of birdies, so I used to be simply making an attempt to have my justifiable share of them and have enjoyable on the market.

“It helps once you’re going into the ultimate spherical with a four-shot cushion, you would shoot the identical rating as others, however you have got these pictures from the final three days.

“I birdied the primary gap and holed two actually good putts for par on two and three which actually set the momentum up, and from there, I attempted to not look again and simply go ahead.”

Ko takes a tee shot on the 4th during the BMW Ladies Championship.

Making historical past

In ending second on the Saudi Girls Worldwide, 18-year-old Thitikul etched her title within the historical past books.

She additional prolonged her lead on the high of the Race to Costa del Sol’s standings to clinch the 2021 title with two occasions nonetheless to play.

The Race to Costa del Sol is a season-long competitors to crown the LET’s primary participant.

And with a degree whole of three,264.46, she has greater than double the tally of second-placed Sanna Nuutinen, who completed joint ninth in Saudi Arabia, on 1,570.27 factors.

In doing so, she grew to become the youngest winner of the competitors in its historical past.

“It is an honor and it is a actually wonderful feeling to win the Race to Costa del Sol this 12 months in my rookie season as properly, phrases cannot actually describe it,” she said.

Thitikul has had considerably of a breakthrough 12 months this season, surging into the highest 30 on the planet rankings.

After ending second, she admitted Ko was streaks forward of her on the Saudi Girls Worldwide.

“I simply did my finest on the market in the present day with each single shot, however Lydia was completely sensible,” the four-time LET winner said.

“I discovered so much from her in the present day, Lydia Ko has among the finest quick video games ever, her placing was sensible, and each method shot she performed this week, I can positively study to get higher from her.”

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