Daniel Richardson

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

Golf: Ko produces steady finish in Michigan

New Zealand's Lydia Ko. Photo / Getty Images
New Zealand's Lydia Ko. Photo / Getty Images

Lydia Ko produced a solid but unspectacular final round at the LPGA Classic in Michigan as she finished in a share of 12th place.

The 17-year-old Kiwi shot an even-par 71, which included three birdies and as many bogeys as she failed to make any inroads on the leaderboard.

It was a steady week for Ko, who continued her remarkably consistent rookie season on the LPGA Tour, and she finished at five-under, nine strokes back from eventual winner Mirim Lee who beat Inbee Park in a playoff after they finished the tournament at 14-under.

Ko's finish will have kept her inside the top five of the Race to the CME Globe, which is the LPGA Tour's season-long ranking system for results.

Ko will now head to the LPGA Championship in New York which gets underway on Thursday as she looks claim her first major.

Meanwhile, on the second-tier Web.com Tour, Hamilton's Steven Alker finished in a share of 26th place at the Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Missouri.

Alker carded a one-under 71 during his final round and finished at 14-under for the week, seven strokes back from winner Cameron Percy (-21).

The 42-year-old Alker was in contention heading in to the final two rounds but wasn't able to make enough birdies at the Highland Springs Country Club as the front-runners kept the scoring low.

Alker is all but assured of a return to the PGA Tour next season as he came in to the Price Cutter tournament in 11th place on the Web.com Tour's order of merit and was projected to hold that position following his efforts in Missouri.

There are two more tournaments in the Web.com Tour's regular season and then a batch of 25 PGA Tour cards will be dished out, one of which will likely go to Alker.

There's then a four-week long finals series with another 25 tour cards on offer, while players like Alker, who have secured their spot on next season's PGA Tour, can help boost their priority ranking and earn more money.

- APNZ

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