Lydia Ko Named 2016 Champion of the #NWAChampionship
Claims her 13th LPGA title with a 3-shot win in Arkansas
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko used a final round 68 on Sunday at Pinnacle Country Club to capture her 13th career victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. The 19-year old set a new tournament scoring record with a three-day total 17-under par 196 and finished three shots clear of Morgan Pressel and Candie Kung.
“On this stretch of the last three weeks, I played really solid, and to go back home, I know winning the last event of the three week stretch I played, it’s a really cool feeling, and I’m going to enjoy the week off next week,” said Ko.
Ko, who was tied with Pressel at 14-under to start the day, came out firing on all cylinders and took control early in the round. She birdied four of her first five holes to extend the lead to four shots and never turned back.
She picked up her first of three bogeys on the day on the par 3 6th hole and Pressel followed it up with a birdie on No. 7 to cut the lead to two shots.
Ko and Pressel exchanged birdies on both Nos. 8 and 10 to keep the margin at two shots but Pressel stumbled down the stretch with four consecutive bogeys on Nos. 11-14.
“I had high hopes certainly, and I felt like I played pretty well for nine holes,” said Pressel. “Hung in there, but then I just couldn’t keep it going and couldn’t get lucky as I had been getting lucky. It just wasn’t my day.”
Ko’s back nine wasn’t as memorable as she would like, closing with a bogey on the 18th to drop to 17-under par but the Kiwi was more than pleased to take home career victory No. 13.
“I think I got I think the sun hit me a little bit. I was feeling a little tired, but, you know, I was trying to grind my way out,” said Ko. “It’s not really the fanciest finish, finishing up with a six, but I just think of it as me bogeying another hole, but it was a great week and I love coming back here.”