Lydia Ko's bold bid for victory at the Evian Championship fell fallen painfully short on the final green.
Kiwi Ko surged into contention to win her third major title, only to miss out on a play-off when she missed a mid-length putt for par on the 18th hole at Evian- Les-Bains in France. It capped a bittersweet tournament for the former world No.1, who has endured a testing year but played with aplomb at the tournament she won two years ago.
Finishing on eight-under courtesy of a closing two-under 69 yesterday, Ko's late bogey meant she missed the play-off between Swede Anna Nordqvist and American Brittany Altomare. Nordqvist won on the first hole as driving rain and hail struck the Evian Resort Golf Club.
It was the experienced Swede's second major triumph, having won the 2009 PGA Championship. She was also the ninth different winner since Ko went back to back at the 2015 Evian Championship and 2016 ANA Inspiration.
Ko was level with Australian Katherine Kirk and Thai Moriya Jutanugarn, two players who were in front of her when she began her third and final round in a share of fourth. The tournament had been shortened to 54 holes.
Birdies at the third and fourth holes were followed by bogeys at the seventh and 13th before the 20-year-old launched her attack. She nailed a long, curling birdie putt on the 14th hole before showing outstanding distance and then touch with a stunning chip-in for eagle at the 15th, joining Nordqvist, Altomare and Jutanugarn at the top of the leaderboard.
"It was probably the shot of the year for me, the chip-in on 15," Ko said. "It was really cool to play here, and I feel like the support was immense. I played my heart out and I tried my best and that's all I can do."
Ko provided further evidence she is rediscovering her best form after a miserable year by her lofty standards.
Last week she finished runner-up at an LPGA Tour event in Indianapolis and said the feeling of being in contention had given her confidence this week. She had missed the cut at two of her three previous tournaments and hadn't finished better than 20th since mid-June.
Fresh off her eighth top-three finish at a major, Ko will be the headline act at the next Tour event, the New Zealand Women's Open teeing off on September 28 at Windross Farm, near Ardmore.