Jin-Young Ko, the world number one, made five birdies in the final six holes to defeat Jeong-Eun Lee and overnight leader In-Gee Chun to win the HSBC Women’s World Championship at the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore on Sunday.
Ko won the tournament for the first time by two strokes thanks to a birdie at the 18th. As Lee, tied for first heading down the stretch, collapsed around the final green.
Jin-Young Ko rolled in her third shot from 12 feet at the par-four to move to 17-under par. While Lee’s double-bogey dropped her three strokes behind the victor, with Chun and Lee Min-jee tied for second. She said,
“I played well today, but it’s tough to go round playing with two amazing Korean players. We’re close friends,” Ko.
“I had a lot more confidence on the back nine than on the front nine, so I got a lot of birdies on the back nine.”
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Chun extended her early lead with a birdie at the second. But she was soon left in the dust as those around her ramped up the pace. With five birdies in the first seven holes, Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul put herself in contention. But a bogey on the penultimate hole ended her chances of winning. The youngster finished in a tie for fourth place on 14-under.
In the meantime, Ko had birdied the eighth and ninth holes to stay in contention. but a lost shot at the 12th appeared to have put an end to her chances. But birdies at the 13th and 14th holes were followed by another at the par-three 15th. Where she fired her tee ball through the green, only to roll in a 25-foot putt from well off the edge for a birdie.
That put the 26-year-old back in contention, and an eight-foot putt at the 16th gave her a fourth consecutive birdie, putting her in a tie for first. With the stakes rising, Jeong-Eun Lee had a bad day on the final green. Hitting a bunker shot off the wrong side of the putting surface and needing three more strokes to hole out. That left Ko with one more birdie putt to take the lead by two shots.