Korean-New Zealander Lydia Ko defended her Canadian Women's Open title on Sunday, becoming the first amateur ever to win two U.S. LPGA Tour titles.
At the Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Edmonton, Alberta, the teenage sensation claimed the title with a total score of 15-under 265 to finish with a convincing lead over runner-up Karine Icher of France, who finished five strokes behind.
Korea's Kim In-kyung was tied for fifth at 8-under with Thai golfer Stacy Prammanasudh, and world No.1 Park In-bee ended the competition in 13th place at 4-under.
Ko became the youngest golfer ever to win an LPGA title last year by dominating this competition at the age of 15 years, four months and two days. She then repeated the feat almost one year to the day later for her fourth career win in a professional tournament. In January last year, Ko became the youngest woman ever to win a professional golf competition by topping the leaderboard on the Australian Tour's New South Wales Open.
Ko has made the cut in all 14 LPGA Tour competitions she has entered since last year, and has posted five top-five finishes this year alone. As amateur golfers are not eligible to collect prize money in pro competitions, the winner's purse of US$300,000 for last year's Canadian Women's Open went to runner-up Park In-bee. This year, it passed into the hands of Icher.
Now attention is fastening on when Ko, who has held the top spot in the amateur world rankings for 123 consecutive weeks, will turn pro. She has said repeatedly that she hopes to attend Stanford University, like Tiger Woods and Michelle Wie, but recently there have been hints of a slight change in attitude. Just before the Canadian Women's Open kicked off, Ko told reporters that it is a tough call because she wants to study at university but does not wish to be part of a university golf team.
When she was asked the same question after her victory, she said, "When I turn pro it's like a job. [It's all about money] and everything like that, every shot counts... I think my parents and New Zealand golf, they're all going to have a say, and hopefully we'll make a really good decision on when I will turn pro."