The world’s top-ranked female golfer Lydia Ko won the Saudi Aramco Women’s International for the second time in King Abdullah Economic City near Jeddah on Sunday.
Ko finished her round with a total score of 21-under-par over four rounds, beating runner-up Aditi Ashok by one stroke.
The New Zealander previously took the title in 2021, while Briton Georgia Hall won 2022’s tournament.
“I’m two for two on this golf course,” Ko said in a statement. “Clearly something is going for me.”
She went on to say: “I’m playing with the world’s best. The field this week was really good, so I knew it was going to be a challenge.”
“The first one of the year is really hard because you don’t have anything to base yourself off. You don’t know if you’re going to play well or badly.”
“The start definitely helped, I stayed really patient and I was not as nervous as I thought I would be.”
The New Zealander took home prize money of $750,000 out of a total prize purse of $5 million, which this year was raised to equal the men’s tournament, the PIF Saudi International.
The Royal Greens Golf and Country Club hosted the tournament in which 120 of the world’s top women golfers took part.
It was a strong start to the 2023 season for Ko, who will now head to Thailand to play on the LPGA Tour.
But it wasn’t until her birdie on 17 that the two-time Major champion went into the outright lead.
“The scoreboard is right behind the green, so it was really hard to miss,” she explained. “I was more curious coming down the last because you could make eagle like Lilia [Vu] did yesterday, and so did Em [Pedersen].”
“With this pin position I knew it would be tricky, but I just wanted to hit a couple of good shots. I had a really good second shot to set myself up for a wedge coming in. It was a little bit more stressful than I would’ve liked, but it doesn’t matter how you get it done.”
“I’ve just been very grateful. A lot of great things happening, especially in the last few months again and again. You don’t know if this is real or not, but I’ve been trying to enjoy being out on the golf course.”
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