Essential Golf: A passion for the Game

Lydia Ko Earns Victory in LPGA Tour Season Opener in Orlando

Lydia Ko Earns Victory in LPGA Tour Opener in Orlando
(Romeo T Guzman/CSM/Alamy)

Lydia Ko secured her 20th win on the LPGA Tour thanks to a two-shot victory at the season-opening Tournament of Champions in Orlando.

The 26-year-old New Zealander began the final round with a two-shot advantage and she consolidated that advantage by closing with a two-under 70 which featured four birdies to finish the event at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club on 14 under.

“I think the finish that I had last year, not only winning Grant Thornton (a mixed-team exhibition) but I played really well in Korea and in Malaysia,” said Ko.

“I think if you keep going down a spiral of thinking like ‘what if’, it’s endless. I worked hard in the two weeks leading up to this event. To win at home has been nice.”

19-year-old American Alex Pano also hit a 70 on the final day which included birdies on both the 16th and 17th to end the tournament in second while Canada’s two-time major winner Brooke Henderson finished in third on 10 under.

The next event on the LPGA Tour schedule is the Drive On Championship taking place between 25-28 January at Bradenton Country Club in Florida.