Teen Ko grabs 1st professional title in Taiwan event
In this handout photograph taken and released on December 8, 2013 by the Swinging Skirts 2013 World Ladies Masters, Lydia Ko of New Zealand kisses her trophy
The 16-year-old, who was just one shot behind world number five Ryu So-Yeon after two rounds, ended three strokes ahead of Ryu, who struggled with her putting on the back nine to end on 73.
"I certainly didn't expect to win in my second professional tournament. It's great to win here and it's a great tournament," said Ko.
"I wasn't really sure I would win until the tap-in on the 18th hole," Ko said, speaking of her tense race with Ryu to the finish.
Despite the pressure Ko showed composure and maturity beyond her years, carding five birdies and two bogeys on the final round.
Ko, who collected $150,000, said a win in Asia meant a lot to her because of her ethnicity.
"I haven't had that many opportunities to play in Asia. I played a lot of tournaments in the States and in Australia, so it's great to have my first professional win here in Asia because my background is obviously Asian Korean," said Ko, who has recorded five wins in professional tournaments as an amateur.
World number one Park In-Bee carded 2-under 70 for a total of 209, which put her third.
Kim Hyo-Joo and Baek Kyu-Jung, both of South Korea, shot 68 and 72 respectively to finish tied for fourth place with an aggregate score of 213.
Taiwanese star Tseng Ya-ni, the former world number one who has won 15 career LPGA titles at age 24, collected five birdies on her first 13 holes, only to be set back by her lone bogey at the par-3 14th hole.
Tseng shot 68 to tie for 6th place with Paula Creamer of the US, Korean KLPGT 2013 money winner Jang Ha-Na and Sandra Gal of Germany.
A total of 95 players competed in the three-day event.
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