Ko wins on second extra hole

Top-ranked Lydia Ko of New Zealand sank a five-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to beat Morgan Pressel and win the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic for the second straight year at Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, on the outskirts of San Francisco.

Pressel, trying to win for the first time since 2008, led most of the final day until Ko sank an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to cap a 2-under-par 70 and tie for the lead.

After watching Ko from the 18th fairway, Pressel missed a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole to finish with a 72, and then missed another birdie putt to win from about the same distance on the first extra hole.

“I started bogey-bogey (in the final round) and that’s definitely not the way I planned it,” said Ko, who claimed her seventh LPGA Tour victory two days after her 18th birthday. “But I made the turn in 1-under and making a long birdie putt on the 15th hole definitely helped.

“I hit the ball really well this week and that really helps on a tough course like this. It’s always nice to come back to a course where you’ve won. The fans were great all week and it was a nice birthday week again.”

Rookie Brooke Henderson of Canada, 17, playing in her second LPGA Tour event as a professional, was in the hunt all the way, but closed with a 74 despite an eagle on the 14th hole and finished one stroke back in solo third.

Min Seo Kwak of South Korea finished another shot back in fourth, also after a 74, while Shanshan Feng of China shot 72 and was three strokes behind in fifth.

Stacy Lewis, who lost to Ko by one stroke at Lake Merced last year, posted a 73 and wound up four shots behind in a tie for sixth with South Koreans Ha Na Jang, who totaled 68, and Amy Yang, who came in at 69.

Two more South Koreans, Mirim Lee (70) and Sei Young Kim (70) tied for ninth, five shots back.

Juli Inkster, the 54-year-old local favorite from Los Gatos and San Jose State, closed with a 71 and tied for 15th.



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