LPGA: Lydia Ko wins BMW Ladies Championship with final-round 65
New Zealand’s Lydia Ko mixed eight birdies and a bogey to shoot a final-round 65 on Sunday and win the BMW Ladies Championship in Wonju, South Korea.
Ko entered the day a stroke behind Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul, but wound up at 21-under par 267 for the tournament. That was four strokes better American Andrea Lee, who carded a 69.
Five birdies on the back nine, including three straight at Nos. 15-17, sealed the victory for Ko. It was her 18th career tour win and second of 2022.
“I played the back nine really well in all four of my rounds, and I think that was the big key for me and just knowing that there are holes out there that we can be aggressive even though there are some tougher ones,” she said. “I think I was just able to strategically just keep calm and be patient.”
Ko’s 65 was the course low for the day.
Finishing in a tie for third at 16-under were South Koreans Hye-Jin Choi, who shot a 68, and Hyo Joo Kim (68) along with American Lilia Vu (69).
Thitikul birdied the second hole but couldn’t maintain the momentum, stacking up five bogeys on her way to a 74 and a sixth-place finish.
Consistency was the key for Ko, who strung together two opening rounds of 68, followed by a 66 on Saturday.
“Obviously, this weekend I played really solid,” Ko said. “I gave myself a lot of good looks. I had a couple of lucky breaks as well. But, yeah, it was just one of those weeks where I think I played solid all four rounds.
“I think to be able to win these days, you’ve got to play well all four of these rounds because you’re playing against the world’s best players. One mediocre round, that puts you, I think, a few shots behind.”
Lee also leaves Wonju satisfied with her performance and the second-place finish.
“Super happy with the way I played throughout the entire week,” she said. “Today wasn’t my day, but another bogey-free round and had three birdies. So just really pleased with the way I’ve been playing lately.”
Lee said she is looking forward to the final three events of the season.
“I would love to maybe win one more to close out the year. That was the goal today, but, you know, it wasn’t meant to be,” she said. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’ve been doing and try to just play solid golf, put good rounds together and just try to finish this season out strong.”
Ko now has finished in the top five in nine of her past 12 starts. Born in Seoul, South Korea’s capital, she clearly was delighted to win in her native country.
“I feel so proud to be born in Korea,” she said. “Because of that I really wanted to win here. It’s not only just a place that I’m born, but a lot of my family is still here. This week my relatives are here, my direct family is here and I wanted to win it for them as well. To be able to do that this year in front of a lot of them, it means a lot.”
–Field Level Media