Vancouver, BC (August 26, 2012)-Americans lost one of their heroes this weekend when Neil Armstrong passed away. He is most known for being the first man to walk on the moon in 1969. That year also symbolizes the last time an amateur hoisted a professional trophy on the LPGA tour. Lydia Ko, only fifteen years of age not only became the first ladies amateur in over forty years to win this Sunday, but she is also the youngest in LPGA history after winning the CN Canadian Women’s Open.
Ko never seemed fazed during the four days of competition as she posted rounds of 68-68-72-67 to finish at 13-under-par. Her most impressive round no doubt was her final round in which nerves never seemed to be a factor as she cruised to a 5-under-par 67 with her closest competitor Inbee Park finishing three strokes back for solo second place. Park is coming off a win a few weeks ago at the Evian Masters as well as finishing 3T last week at the Jamie Farr Classic. Park however will collect the first place check of $300,000 since Ko cannot receive any money as an amateur.
Ko however will take home the trophy and it caps off what has been an incredible year for the teenager only halfway through high school. It is actually the second professional title for Ko, as she won at the beginning of the year on the Australian tour at the Women’s NSW Open when she was only 14 years of age. She finished as the low amateur at the U.S. Women Open’s this summer and then went on to win the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Though she has stated previously that she wants to pursue a college career, her second professional win in eight months may force the South Korean native who now makes her home in New Zealand, to rethink that decision.
Stacy Lewis played in the final group with Ko but could only muster an even round of 72 after shooting a 66 yesterday to put her into contention. Park closed with a 69 to put a little pressure on Ko and Na Yeon Choi’s 68 bumped her into a tie for third with Jiyai Shin and Chella Choi.
The Vancouver Golf Club played host for this historic event playing over 6,600 yards. Ko as most of the young and upcoming players was not intimidated by the length and rarely found herself in any trouble. Two bogeys on her final round card were easily balanced by seven birdies.
World No. 1 Yani Tseng continued to show some flashes of her old self. Though she finished 35T, she did have an opening round of 66 but then could not break par the next three rounds. Tseng however remained upbeat and should still be a factor as the LPGA closes in on its final major of the year, the Ricoh’s Women’s British Open next month.
The LPGA is off next week before resuming their schedule in Williamsburg, VA at the Kingsmills Championship. That will be the final tournament before the British Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.