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Lydia Ko wins Marathon Classic

07/20/2014, 12:00am EDT
By RACHEL LENZI BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Ko sinks birdie on 18th hole to win tournament

Lydia Ko wins Marathon Classic

Lydia Ko approaches the #9 hole during the final round of Marathon Classic. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH

Lydia Ko made a four-foot putt for birdie on the 18th hole to win the Marathon Classic today at Highland Meadows Golf Club.

The 17-year-old from New Zealand shot a 6-under 65 today and finished the four-day tournament with a score of 15-under 269.

Ko finished one stroke ahead of 2012 tournament champion So Yeon Ryu.

PHOTO GALLERY: Lydia Ko claims Marathon Classic

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here for more photos from the final round

Ryu attempted a putt for birdie on the 18th hole, but pushed her shot wide and finished second at 14-under for the tournament, shooting a 67.

“I couldn’t see it properly because I was behind some people,” Ko said of Ryu’s attempt. “But I kind of saw by the crowd’s reaction.

“The mindset was, wow, it would be great if she misses the putt but she’s a great player and I kind of expected her to get it in. Inside I was like, I may have to prepare for a playoff.”

Ko is the No. 2 ranked golfer in the world and is the youngest player to win the Marathon Classic and will receive $210,000 as the winner. It put Ko over the $1 million mark for tour winnings.

Ryu finished with a four-day score of 270.

"Absolutely disappointed I missed a birdie putt," Ryu said. "But still, I had like quite a rough front nine but I [was] fighting on pretty great on the back nine. Also, you know, also I had a great birdie at 17, but I missed like a really important birdie putt at 18.

"Sometimes if I got something lucky, something is unlucky. So I just accept it and let it go."

Cristie Kerr finished third with a 12-under 272 and Kelly Tan and Katherine Kirk tied for fourth with an 11-under 273.

“I didn’t play 17 and 18 well all week,” Kerr said. “If you’re going to win here, you have to take advantage of those holes. I didn’t make that putt on 17 today and 18, I could have gotten there, into it in front and maybe had an eagle chip, and just hit a bad three wood.

“I just kind of left a lot of shots out there all week. I just kind of hit it bad and missed a lot of putts.”

2013 champion Beatriz Recari finished in an seven-way tie for 25th, at 6-under 278 for the tournament. Recari shot a 70 today.

Contact Rachel Lenzi at: rlenzi@theblade.com, 419-724-6510, or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.

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