South Korean Ko Jin-young has pulled off an impressive comeback for her third career LPGA victory.
Ko rallied from a four-shot deficit to take the Bank of Hope Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix on Sunday (local time). Ko carded a bogey-free final round of seven-under 65 to finish at 22-under 266, beating Liu Yu of China and three others by one stroke.
Ko is the third straight South Korean to win on the tour in 2019 and fourth in six tournaments this season.
Her previous victory came in February last year in Australia.
Liu held the overnight lead at 19-under, with Ko four strokes back. Liu managed just two birdies through 12 holes, while Ko made a run including four birdies in 11 holes to reach 19-under.
Then starting at the 14th, Ko reeled off three consecutive birdies. The last of those three birdies gave Ko sole possession of the lead at 22-under.
Playing two groups behind, Lui had her third birdie of the day at the 15th to pull into a tie with Ko at 22-under.
The South Korean finished her day at 22-under with pars on the final two holes and watched the late drama unfold. American sisters Jessica and Nelly Korda both finished at 21-under, and that left the final pairing of Liu and Carlota Ciganda, who was also at 21-under, as the only ones with a chance to catch Ko.
Liu’s second shot to the 18th green fell short and she chipped it several feet past the hole. Needing to make the par putt to force a playoff with Ko, Liu missed it by mere inches to the right for the only bogey of her final round.
Ko, world No. 9, took home $225,000 for the win and jumped to second place on the money list. (Yonhap)