FIFTEEN YEAR OLD New Zealander Lydia Ko has become the youngest golfer ever to win an LPGA event.
The teenage golfing prodigy beat some of the world’s best women professional golfers by taking the 2012 Canadian Open in Vancouver by three strokes.
Ko was leading the $US2 million tournament by a shot after the third round and moved away from the chasing pack with an equal-best round of the final day, a five-under 67 to finish on 13-under at the Vancouver Golf Club.
Nineteen of the world’s top-20 players were in the field, including world No.1 Yani Tseng. Ko, still an amateur, beat her by 14 strokes.
‘‘It’s a professional event, and I just came to make the cut and play my best,’’ the teenager told reporters. ‘‘Then I won and I’m going to get the trophy – it’s amazing.’’
Ko was ineligible for the winners’ purse of US$300,000, which goes to runner up Inbee Park. The Korean was second on 10-under while three golfers tied for third a further two shots back.
Ko, a South Korean-born Aucklander, is the youngest player to win on the elite LPGA Tour, surpassing 16-year-old American Lexi Thompson’s effort last year.
Ko is also the first New Zealander to win on the Tour and is the first amateur to do so for 43 years.