Golf: Ko claims 11th LPGA title

Lydia Ko of New Zealand. Photo / Getty Images.
Lydia Ko of New Zealand. Photo / Getty Images.

Lydia Ko won the Kia Classic today at Aviara, reaffirming her position as the top player in the world heading into the first major championship of the season.

Ko birdied the final three holes for her third straight 5-under 67 and a four-stroke victory over second-ranked Inbee Park.


"I just kind of peeked at the leaderboard and saw Inbee was making a lot of birdies - Inbee doing her Inbee things," Ko said.

"I knew that I needed to focus up until the last moment and fortunately I made some birdies down the stretch."

A week after finishing second in Phoenix in the Founders Cup, Ko headed to Rancho Mirage for the ANA Inspiration with her first LPGA Tour victory of the year and 11th overall.

"All the work we've put in as a team kind of paid off," Ko said. "A really happy moment, but I have to focus for next week. I'm really excited to go back to ANA."

The 18-year-old New Zealander also won the Ladies European Tour's New Zealand Women's Open in February.

Ko finished at 19-under 269. Park closed with a 67.

The South Korean appears to be over the back problem that forced her to withdraw from the first event of the season. She tied for 30th in Thailand and Singapore in her first events back and missed the cut in Phoenix.


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