Ko ends title drought with playoff win at Lake Merced

Lydia Ko of New Zealand has slipped to 18th in the world as she searched for her first LPGA victory since the Marathon Classic in July of 2016
AFP

San Francisco (AFP) – Former world number one Lydia Ko eagled the first playoff hole to win her first title in nearly two years on Sunday, vanquishing Australian Minjee Lee in the LPGA Mediheal Championship.

New Zealand’s Ko has slipped to 18th in the world as she searched for her first LPGA victory since the Marathon Classic in July of 2016.

Her second shot at the first playoff hole, the par-five 18th at Lake Merced Golf Club, bounced short of the green and rolled toward the pin.

After Lee salvaged a birdie from the greenside rough, Ko rolled in her three-foot eagle putt for the victory.

She dropped her head back in relief or disbelief, then cried as she was congratulated on the green.

Ko, whose chip from off the green at 18 kissed the edge of the cup, tapped in for birdie to complete a one-under 71 and force the playoff as she joined Lee in the clubhouse on 12-under par 276.

Lee finished with back-to-back birdies, holing out from a bunker at 17 and ramming in a birdie putt at the last.

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