by Jeff Skinner
Ko was in an all day battle with Stacy Lewis at The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Ko and Lewis had been paired together all week and Sunday was no different. Lewis held a one stroke lead at the start and actually stretched it to three before a radical string of events put Ko in the lead.
With Lewis stuck with pars on the front nine Ko finally put some birdies together at the 8th and 9th and then again at the 13th and 14th. At that point Ko had a two shot lead but the feisty Lewis battled back with birdies at 14, 16 and a final one at 18. The birdie at 18 went for naught as Ko carded one of her own there to win by a stroke over a disappointed Lewis.
The play at 18 was representative of the way Ko plays golf every day. She was in the rough off the tee and held a one stroke lead. Lewis was threatening her lead but the unflappable Ko displayed a calmness not normally found in a teenager. She proceeded to gauge it out of the rough and stopped it six feet from the hole.
An almost nonchalant stroke sent the ball to the hole and the birdie clinched her third LPGA Tour win (1st as a tour member) and sixth overall. The same smile that she wore all day accompanied her final hole birdie and the cool as a cucumber teenager hugged her dad who finally got to see her win as a pro.
This has been quite a week for Ko: she started off by being named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People, turned 17, beat the top golfers in the world and moved up the Rolex Rankings to number two. Not bad for a kid that should be worrying about her high school prom.