Lydia Ko made some more history — and made it clear that she has no plans to rush into a professional golf career.
The 15-year-old Ko is used to questions about her future, and she handled the latest round with ease Sunday after running away with the Canadian Women’s Open to become the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history and only the fifth amateur champion.
“I’ll still remain an amateur and then finish high school and then go to college,” said Ko, who has mentioned Stanford as her college of choice. “I mean, this is a great win, but I don’t think this will affect me changing my roots to my career.”
The South Korean-born New Zealander closed with a 5-under 67 for a three-stroke victory. She broke the age record of 16 set by Lexi Thompson last September in the Navistar LPGA Classic in Alabama. She is the first amateur winner on the LPGA Tour since Kirkland native JoAnne Carner in the 1969.
In January, Ko won the New South Wales Open in Australia at 14 to become the youngest player to win a professional tour event. Ko also won the U.S. Women’s Amateur two weeks ago in Cleveland.
“I didn’t cry after this one,” said Ko, “but (after) that one (the Amateur) I did cry.”
Ko finished at 13-under 275 at The Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C., pulling away with birdies on five of the first six holes on the back nine.
Inbee Park shot a 69 to finish second and collect the $300,000 check that Ko passed up.
Nick Watney salvaged a dismal season with a victory at The Barclays in Farmingdale, N.Y.
Watney turned a two-shot deficit against Sergio Garcia into a three-shot lead in four holes around the turn at Bethpage Black, and then hung on with a 2-under 69 and capture the opening playoff event for the FedEx Cup. Watney won by three over Brandt Snedeker, while Garcia faded to a tie for third.
STILES MOVES UP
Darron Stiles shot a 4-under 67 to win his fifth career Web.com Tour title, taking the News Sentinel Open in Knoxville, Tenn., to leap to eighth on the money list.
Tracking locals on PGA Tour
last week: The Barclays, Bethpage Black, Farmingdale, N.Y.
In the field: Puyallup’s Ryan Moore, Gig Harbor’s Kyle Stanley, Tacoma’s Troy Kelly.
Kelly’s fourth-round score: 2-over-par 73.
Moore’s fourth-round score: 4-over 75.
Position: Moore (1-under 283) tied for 24th, and Kelly (3-over 287) tied for 54th – all behind winner Nick Watney (10-under 274). Stanley missed the cut Friday.
Recap: Moore’s driving let him down Sunday as he made six bogeys in his first 12 holes. Five of them were set up by errant drives (four in the rough, one in a bunker). He did sink a 10-foot putt for birdie at No. 15 to finish under par and earn $56,700. … Kelly birdied the 14th hole (13-foot putt) to get to 1-under par for his round, but he had three bogeys – Nos. 16, 17 and 18 – to finish and earned $18,000.
Next for Moore and Stanley: Deutsche Bank Championship starting Friday at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. Kelly did not advance.Todd Milles, staff writer