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Ko wins Australian Open
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 23 - 02 - 2015

MELBOURNE — New Zealand's Lydia Ko made her second start as world No. 1 a winning one, shooting a final-round 2-under 71 for a two-stroke victory over South Korea's Amy Yang in the Women's Australian Open.
The South Korean-born Ko finished with a 72-hole total of 9-under 283 on the composite course at Royal Melbourne. Yang shot a final-round 72.
Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who was tied with Ko after three rounds in the LPGA, European Tour and Australian Ladies event, shot a 76 to finish third, five strokes behind Ko.
Defending champion Karrie Webb, who won her fifth Australian Open last year at nearby Victoria Golf Club, shot 71 and finished 10 strokes behind.
As the leading groups were making the turn, play was suspended for about an hour due to nearby thunderstorms and the threat of lightning.
While Ko had just dropped a shot on the eighth, Yang had birdied the ninth hole and was ready to putt for an eagle on 10 when the siren to stop play sounded. Yang settled for a birdie after her ball circled the hole but failed to drop.
It gave Yang the lead but it didn't last long with Ko adding two birdies on the back nine.
“I think that break was really good for me,” Ko said. “I had some lunch and got my stuff together there and I played much better after that.”
Ko's accomplishments also include being the youngest golfer to win a professional event after capturing the New South Wales Open when she was 14.
South Korean-born American Jenny Shin birdied the last two holes for a four-under 69, the low round of the day, to move into a tie for fourth with first-round leader Ilhee Lee, seven behind Ko.
Lee closed with 71 but a second round of 82 all but ended her chance for victory.
Goosen retains lead
Retief Goosen had gone so long without being in contention on the weekend that he wondered how his nerves would hold up. They were tested Saturday at Riviera, and the two-time US Open champion earned a passing grade.
Even though he made only two pars on the back nine, and twice faced tough putts just to save bogey, Goosen never lost the lead. He finished with a chip-in for birdie, reached the par-5 17th in two for another birdie and had a 2-under 69 to build a two-shot lead in the Northern Trust Open.
The South African is 46 and coming up on the six-year anniversary of his last win. He was two shots ahead of Graham DeLaet of Canada, who had a 70, with a host of contenders within four shots — Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, Jim Furyk, Jordan Spieth, Angel Cabrera, defending champion Bubba Watson, and even Vijay Singh, who turned 52 Sunday.
Gooden had disk replacement surgery in 2012 when protein injections didn't work, and feared his career might be over. Now he has a second chance.
DeLaet caught Goosen with an eagle on the opening hole, fell back with consecutive bogeys and did his best to stay close. He will be in the final group with Goosen and Bae Sang-moon, who matched the best score of the week with a 66 and was three shots behind. DeLaet, going for his first win, thinks that might help being with Goosen. — Agencies


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