Lydia Ko claimed it was a birthday week to savour after clinching victory at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.

As well as turning 17, she was named in the Time magazine’s top 100 most influential people list before recording a first victory as an LPGA member.

The New Zealander birdied the 18th hole at Lake Merced Golf Club to finish one shot ahead of world No. 3 Stacy Lewis.

“Normally they would say Sweet 16, but I would say it’s Sweet 17,” Ko said.  

“No, it was great. I don’t think I would have any better birthday week. I won here. I finally turned 17. I’ve been 16 for a long time.  

“Yeah, you know, top 100 most influential people, I don’t know what I’ve done to get there, but, yeah, it’s just a really special week for me. I’m so honoured to have all those titles.”

I don’t think it’s that different. I’m so honoured to win Ko insisted she didn’t feel any different winning as an LPGA member but it felt more special to have her dad in the crowd.

She added: “I don’t think it’s that different. I’m so honoured to win. I don’t feel that different. I think the most difference was having my dad here. Tears nearly run down my face after I made the putt and also during the speech.

“I think just having your parents here. You may lose friends, but you’re never going to lose your parents.  They’re always with you. I think that’s why it actually made me feel a little bit more emotional.”

Korean Jenny Shin finished third on -10 with world No. 1 Inbee Park in a tie for fourth on -6.

James Savage

Former equipment editor of NCG. Inconsistent ball-striker and tea-maker.

Handicap: 17

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