THE COLONY, Texas – Jin Younger Ko closed with seven straight pars for a 2-under 69 and a one-shot victory Sunday within the Volunteers of America Basic, her first begin since dropping the No. 1 world rating.
Ko sank her shoulders when she made her par putt from simply exterior 3 ft on the ultimate gap at Outdated American Golf Membership, holding off Matilda Castren of Finland, who additionally shot 69.
The South Korean star received for the primary time this 12 months, and the timing couldn’t have been higher. She had held the No. 1 rating for almost two years till Nelly Korda supplanted her final week by successful the KPMG Ladies’s PGA Championship.
Ko had failed to complete within the prime 10 in 4 of her earlier 5 begins on the LPGA Tour. However not removed from her American dwelling of Dallas, she thrived. She completed at 16-under 268 for her eighth profession LPGA victory. She stays at No. 2.
“I used to be considering I had quite a lot of stress with the No. 1 rating,” Ko stated. “However I made it this week. I’m very joyful.”
Staked to a one-shot lead, Ko opened with three birdies in 4 holes to widen her lead. Castren, who received her first LPGA Tour title three weeks in the past at Lake Merced, saved her in her sights with a pair of birdies earlier than making the flip.
Castren was at risk of falling three photographs behind on the par-5 thirteenth when she was in hassle off the tee and had 20 ft left for par, with Ko about 12 ft for a birdie likelihood. Castren holed her par putt, Ko missed and the lead remained at one.
The roles have been switched on the following gap when Ko missed her tee shot properly to the proper and couldn’t attain the inexperienced, pitching to six ft. Castren had a wedge into the inexperienced, however she couldn’t convert for birdie and Ko saved par.
The event swung on the fifteenth gap when Castren missed a 3-foot par putt that snapped exhausting to the left, falling two photographs behind. She bought up-and-down from simply wanting the par-5 seventeenth for birdie, and stayed within the sport when Ko missed her birdie putt from 6 ft.
Castren had a 25-foot birdie from off the again of the 18th inexperienced that missed to the proper.
Gaby Lopez of Mexico closed with a 65, making her solely bogey on the ultimate gap. She completed alone in third, two photographs behind.
Esther Henseleit of Germany had a greater likelihood to win. She made consecutive birdies on the eleventh and twelfth gap to get inside two photographs. However on the 14th, her drive went beneath a tree and he or she needed to take a penalty drop. Then, she lipped out a 4-foot putt and made her second double bogey of the spherical, falling 4 photographs behind.
Henseleit closed with a 72 and tied for fourth with Ana Belac (68) and Emma Talley, who shot a 63 for her profession low spherical on the LPGA Tour.
Ko had loads of assist at Outdated American, with a big contingent of Koreans within the gallery. Ko is amongst a number of South Koreans who’re primarily based on the Dallas space.
Ko and Korda will sq. off on huge phases over the following month or so. The following main is the Evian Championship, adopted by the Tokyo Olympics and the Ladies’s Open.