NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko has never won more than one day at the CME Team Tour Championship, earning a $2 million prize in women’s golf and earning LPGA Player of the Year honors.
Ko defeated Ireland’s Leona Maguire in the final round with a 7-foot birdie on the 16th hole to close at 2-under 70.
Coe wiped away tears as she attempted the final hole at Tiburon Golf Club, in a strong but rarely swayed wind.
“There was a lot on the line today. “I just wanted to play the best golf I could. “I know it’s going to be a tough fight, especially given how tough the conditions are.”
The $2 million prize brought her season earnings to more than $4.3 million, just short of Lorena Ochoa’s single season earnings of $591 in 2007. Ko won the points-based award for the second time as an LPGA player. She won the Vare Trophy for the second consecutive year with the lowest average.
The Player of the Year and Vare Trophy each scored one point, and with the win, she would give her 25 points toward the 27 points needed for the LPGA Hall of Fame.
The 25-year-old Kiwi, who was tied with Maguire early in the final round, took her first lead with a birdie on the par-3 eighth hole. Ko still leads by 1 shot when she hits her tee shot short of the flag on the par-3 16th and makes a 7-foot birdie putt.
Ko two-putted from 25 feet for birdie on the par-5 17th to take a 2-shot lead into the final hole and then played it safe.
Ko finished at 17-under 271 and won her second LPGA Tour final. Her first title at the CME Team Tour Championship came in 2014 at the age of 17 and dominated women’s golf.
Ko is inducted into the LPGA Hall of Fame at age 25, which is a testament to how good she has been for so long.
“I’m happy that the photo I won in 2014 with my glasses can be updated,” Ko said.
She would finish the year with three wins — her first multi-win season since 2016 — and nine other finishes in the top five.
Maguire’s hopes began to fade when she hit a thin fairway iron on the par-5 14th. She took a penalty drop, still couldn’t get onto the green into the strong wind and had to go up and down the wedge to save bogey.
But Ko hit her second shot off the side of the hill and into the hazard, and made bogey to extend the lead to 1 shot.
Maguire shot a 72 to finish second. It was worth $550,000 of the $7 million purse. Anna Nordqvist shot a 67 to finish third.
Ko goes to the outside world with plans to get married. “This is my last tournament as a singles woman,” she said laughing at the trophy ceremony.
She now has 19 career wins — her first came 10 years ago as a 15-year-old amateur in Canada, making her the youngest to win an LPGA Tour event.