Rolex World No 1 Lydia Ko held off a strong challenge to be crowned the 2015 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open champion.
Ko fired rounds of 70, 70, 72 and 71 to finish atop of the leaderboard at 9-under-par and capture her sixth LPGA title in her stunning career to date.
The 17-year-old started the day in a tie for the lead with Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, however it was South Korean Amy Yang who was the main challenger throughout the final round, the pair were tied for the lead with nine to play.
Ko was well aware of Yang’s charge, “Yeah, whenever I saw the leaderboard, she had made another birdie and another one so I was like, ‘ok, you need to get your stuff together and you need to make birdies’. She’s such a consistent player and she’s been putting so well on these fast greens so I knew she was tough to get rid of.”
A key moment occurred on the 12th where she made a crucial putt, “I made a good putt on that hole yesterday and I made another good putt there. I thought it was short but I put all my prayers into that putt and told it to go and it dropped and that was awesome.”
Yang’s challenge stalled with bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes which saw her drop out of a share of the lead. Yang eventually finished outright second at seven-under-par.
Ko is the youngest Australian Open champion and she was thrilled, “It’s great. I struggled in the last round at the last couple Australian Opens but this year, I played pretty solid. I think that’s a really important thing and just to win on such an amazing golf course here at (Royal Melbourne), I think that’s another bonus.”
Outright third was Jutanugarn on four-under-par, while sharing fourth place was American Jenny Shin and South Koreans Ilhee Lee and Chella Choi. Australian Minjee Lee and England’s Charley Hull were amongst five players at one-under-par and tied for seventh.
Defending champion Karrie Webb finished tied for 16th at one-over-par.