Flawless Ko storms to Canada victory

TORONTO, Canada (AFP) – World number one Ko Jin-young of South Korea stormed to a five-shot victory in the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open early yesterday, producing her fourth consecutive bogey-free round to claim the 16th title of her professional career.

The 24-year-old from Seoul delivered another flawless performance at Magna Golf Club outside Toronto in the latest milestone of a season which has included two major championship victories at the ANA Inspiration and Evian Championship.

In addition to her major wins, it was also Ko’s second LPGA Tour title of 2019, following her victory at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in March.

Ko’s final round eight-under-par 64 left her at 26 under, five shots clear of final round partner Nicole Broch Larsen, who finished with a three-under-par 69 to close on 21 under for second.

In a see-saw final round, it was Broch Larsen who made the first move, notching a birdie on the opening hole to move to 19 under before Ko recorded her first birdie of the day to regain a share of the lead on the sixth.

Ko Jin-young poses with the CP Women’s Open Championship Trophy. PHOTO: AFP

Ko then moved a shot clear with a further birdie on the eighth before Broch Larsen responded with her second birdie as both players reached the turn at 20 under.

But Ko gained a decisive advantage on the 10th, making another birdie as Broch Larsen bogeyed, suddenly handing the Korean a two-shot cushion that she never relinquished.

Three more birdies on the 11th, 14th and 15th holes moved Ko to 24 under for the tournament, and although Broch Larsen managed back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes, the Korean remained three clear with three to play.

Another birdie on the 17th left Ko four shots ahead heading to the 18th tee, and she nervelessly rolled in her eighth birdie of the day from 10 feet to seal the win.

Behind the duel at the top of the leaderboard, Lizette Salas produced another low-scoring round with an eight-under-par 64 but it was not enough to overhaul Broch Larsen or Ko. Salas finished tied for third on 19 under par.

Canada’s defending champion and crowd favourite Brooke Henderson, who joined Broch Larsen and Ko in the final group, was unable to reproduce the low-scoring charge that had vaulted her into contention last Saturday.

Henderson carded a three-under-par 69 for a share of third alongside Salas.