18-year-old Lydia Ko becomes golf's youngest major winner

Phil Casey 14/09/2015
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Outstanding: Ko.

Lydia Ko, earmarked by the golfing world for greatness from the moment she won a LPGA Tour event aged 15, shot a stunning eight-under-par 63 to become the youngest ever winner of a major at the Evian Championship.

– UAE: Nomura Cup coming to the Emirates for the first time
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– MENA Tour: Els Club and Muscat join Tour schedule

The New Zealander – at the age of 18 years, four months and 20 days – picked up eight birdies in a flawless final round in France to win by six shots on 16-under par.

American Lexi Thompson was second on 10 under after signing for a 70, with China’s Shanshan Feng third on eight-under.

Overnight leader Lee Mi-hyang finished in a tie for fourth, with fellow South Korean Lee Il-hee, after a three-over-par 74.

American Morgan Pressel, the previous youngest major winner, had been joint third at the start of play but saw her chances end as she made six bogeys in a round of 75, finishing four-under.

World No1 Inbee Park ended 11 shots behind Ko on five-under. Ko, the world No2, made a steady start to her final round with a birdie at the third and then started to gather momentum after picking up further shots at the seventh and ninth. Five more birdies came on the back nine as she powered to victory.

Reflecting on her record-breaking achievement, Ko said: “It’s pretty amazing. This has been an awesome day and an unbelievable experience. Everyone has been asking me when I was going to win my first major, and now it’s done. It’s so hard to get your hands on the first one.

“It’s probably the best round ever. To finish with two birdies and finish on the last, the 72nd, with a birdie – that doesn’t happen often. It is definitely one of the top rounds of my whole life and I am sure it will be from my career.”

Thompson had made the early running with four birdies in her first seven holes to reach 13-under, but she could not keep pace after the turn and a double bogey at the 14th ended her hopes.

“I played well enough in my first nine. I struggled on the back,” Thompson said about her final round. “I kind of lost my tee ball and didn’t hit good iron shots, and it’s kind of hard to beat somebody that shoots 63.”

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VIDEO: Anirban Lahiri close to securing PGA Tour card

niall 13/09/2015
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Anirban Lahiri reflects on his third round performance at the Web.com Tour Finals.

– JOY OF GOLF: Anirban Lahiri’s unusual path in pursuit of PGA Tour card

Video provided by: www.golfingindian.com









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Slattery fires seven-under par 63 to share KLM lead with Cabrera-Bello

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Purple patch: Lee Slattery is on the verge of a second successive victory.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Lee Slattery head into the final round of the KLM Open tied on 16-under par after an extraordinary third day at Kennemer Golf and Country Club.

Cabrera-Bello got off to a flying start, carding six birdies, an eagle and a solitary bogey on his front nine before safely parring the final nine holes to add a third round 63 to opening rounds of 65 and 66.

England’s Slattery covered the front nine in 32 before mixing an eagle with two birdies and a bogey after the turn to finish in a share of the overnight lead.

– UAE: Nomura Cup coming to the Emirates for the first time
– Deutsche Bank: Fowler silences critics with latest victory

– MENA Tour: Els Club and Muscat join Tour schedule

Scot Paul Lawrie trails the leaders by one stroke after firing seven birdies on his way to a flawless 63.

Meanwhile, Magnus A Carlsson carded the 40th hole-in-one of the current European Tour season at the short eighth, holing his tee shot from 222 yards, before Wade Ormsby added another ace at the 11th.

Slattery, winner of last week’s Russian Open, continued his hot form, following up a par at the first with three consecutive birdies before making another gain at the ninth.

He then recovered from a bogey at the 10th by holing his 10-foot eagle putt at the 12th to move to 14-under par before making further gains at the 15th and 17th to complete a stunning 63.

A thrilled Slattery said: “It’s like a dream-come-true at the minute. I went into last week with a lot of pressure on and won, and then I’ve come here with no pressure whatsoever and just been trying to play good golf. 

“It’s a fabulous feeling and I feel a lot more relaxed this week than I was last week.

“My first win in 2011 took a lot out of me because it was after years and years and years of hard work, and it was a lifetime ambition to win a European Tour event.

"That was a special moment for me, but last week meant a lot to several other people as well, so that made it more special in some ways. 

“Over the years I’ve been told a lot that I should be doing better, that I’ve under-achieved. I knew deep down that there are certain aspects of my golf swing I struggle with, and I had to get stronger. 

“It’s just been a lot of hard work and its finally paying off.”

Cabrera-Bello, whose round included a chipped-in eagle from 50 yards, said: “I sunk a very long putt on the first hole and after that all the other birdies were pretty much tap-ins. 

“Even the bogey I had was a three-putt from five feet, so it could’ve been better, but I’m really pleased that everything went my way.”

Thomas Pieters is one stroke further back on 14-under par, with Mikko Ilonen, Morten Orum Madsen and Wade Ormsby another shot behind.

Halfway leader Soren Kjeldsen sits five shots off the pace on 11-under after mixing two birdies with three bogeys yesterday.

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