Daniel Richardson

Daniel Richardson is a Wellington-based sports journalist for NZME. News Service.

Golf: Ko finishes well back

Lydia Ko. Photo / Getty Images
Lydia Ko. Photo / Getty Images

Lydia Ko's search for a maiden major title will continue.

Despite heading in to the final round of the Women's British Open with an outside chance of victory, the 17-year-old became one of the many players who were chewed up and spat out by the Royal Birkdale course in England today.

Ko carded a final round eight-over 80, which included seven bogeys, a double-bogey and a birdie, as she slipped to nine-over for the week and finished in a share of 29th, 10 shots back from champion Mo Martin (-1).

There was no shame in going over the card during the final round as strong winds rocked Southport and no player went under par today but Martin was rewarded with her first win on the LPGA Tour for shooting an even-par 72.

The world No 99 was a surprise champion but laid the foundations with two rounds of 69 to start the tournament and held firm today as she finished one stroke ahead of Norway's Suzann Pettersen and China's Shanshan Feng who both finished at even-par in a share of second place.

"I think I still need to be pinched," Martin told the tournament's official website.

England's Charley Hull, who many in the Northern Hemisphere liken to Ko given the 18-year-old's prodigious talents at a young age, was in contention heading in to the final round but also fell away as she shot a six-over 78 to finish in a tie for 12th at six-over.

"I played rubbish today, to be honest," Hull told reporters. "I was a bit nervous because the ball was moving and stuff on the greens. But I've learned a lot from this round today, again. It's just a shame I couldn't birdie the last to finish inside the top-10."

World No 1 Stacy Lewis finished alongside Hull in a share of 12th place, while third-round leader Inbee Park slipped to fourth at one-over after a final round of 77.

Ko, the world No 2, banked USD$22,977 for her efforts as she continued a strong rookie campaign on the LPGA Tour and also maintained her record of having never missed a cut in a professional tournament.

The next women's major is the LPGA Championship that takes place at the Monroe Golf Club in New York from August 14-17.

- APNZ

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