Golf: Ko fades on back nine in Malaysia

By Niall Anderson

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

A late double bogey has cost Lydia Ko a chance at a top-five finish on the LPGA Tour in Malaysia.

Coming into the final day in a share of seventh, Ko shot up the leaderboard with three birdies on the front nine to at one stage sit alone in second.

A string of pars stagnated her charge for the title, but a double bogey on the par three 15th proved costly. An additional bogey on the final hole saw her card a 39 on the back nine, eventually recording an even-par 71 for an eight-under par total and a share of 12th.

China's Shanshan Feng won the tournament at 17-under par, by three shots from Norway's Suzann Pettersen.

Ko has now gone four events without a top 10 finish, a regular run for most professionals, but Ko's longest drought since November last year. It is also a run of form which coincided with the Kiwi world number one splitting ways with caddie Jason Hamilton.

However, the 12th placed finish will likely still see Ko climb back to the top of the season-long Race for CME Globe standings.

Ko came into the event trailing Ariya Jutanugarn by 116 points, but her Thai rival finished the tournament well out of contention in a tie for 43rd.

As a result, Ko is projected to take a 19 point lead in the race with three events to go, and sit in pole position for the title and the $US 1 million prize that comes with it.

- NZ Herald

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