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Lydia Ko Player Profile

By: | Mon 24 Oct 2022 | Comments

Article Updated in November 2022

LYDIA KO’S resurgence continued as she won the LPGA Tour Championship in Florida, beating Ireland’s Leona Maguire by two shots. It is Ko’s second victory in less than a month.

New Zealand's Ko carded two birdies in the final three holes to finish on 17 under and claim the $2 million prize.

Maguire, 27, could not repeat her superb third round of 63 and had to settle for second after carding a level-par 72 in the final round.

England's Georgia Hall had a 67 to finish tied for fourth.

"It was an incredible week, a really great way to finish off the season," said Maguire. "If you had offered me second at the start of the week, I would have grabbed it with both hands.

"It would have been nice to play a little bit better today, but the wind was strong and it was cold. The pins were tricky."

Maguire was tied with Ko overnight after her stunning nine-under 63 on Saturday, but blustery conditions made low scoring difficult for the final round.

Ko bogeyed the first to put Maguire in the lead, but the New Zealander hit back with two birdies at the third and eighth to hold a one-shot advantage heading onto the back nine, as Maguire's sole birdie on the fourth was immediately cancelled out by a bogey.

Both challengers bogeyed the 14th, but Ko picked up back-to-back shots on the 16th and 17th - which Maguire also birdied - and the 25-year-old held on to clinch the biggest first prize in women's golf.

Lydia Ko

Player Profile

Ko was born in Seoul on April 24, 1997, and has spent her career breaking and setting records. 

Growing up in New Zealand, she began playing golf as a five-year-old when her mother took her into a pro shop at the Pupuke Golf Club in Auckland. The local pro, Guy Wilson, coached her until 2013, when he was replaced by David Leadbetter. She was a seven-year-old in March 2005 when she first came to the attention of the media, for competing in the New Zealand national amateur championships.

She was world number one in 2015 at the age of 17, the youngest male or female ever to achieve such status.

At 14, she was the youngest golfer to win a professional event and at 15 she became the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour. She is also the only amateur to have ever won two LPGA Tour events. When she won the Evian Championship in 2015 she became the youngest woman, at age 18 years, 4 months and 20 days, to win a major championship. Her closing round of 63 was a record lowest final round in the history of women's golf majors - a record she broke with a 62 at the ANA Inspiration in 2021. She had previously won the ANA Inspiration in 2016 for her second consecutive major championship, where she also became the youngest player to win two women's major championships. 

She was born in Seoul but was brought up in New Zealand and in 2016 was named Young New Zealander of the Year.

She averages 254.59 yards from the tee, hits 64.31% of fairways and finds 73.15% of greens in regulation. Ko gets up and down from the sand 66.75% of the time, averages 28.5 putts per round and has a stroke average of 69.05. She tops the putting, sand saves and stroke averages on the LPGA Tour in 2022.

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