Lydia Ko's latest major win was a victory for laying up


That Lydia Ko won the year's first major was not a big surprise. The ANA Inspiration was world number one Ko's second consecutive victory and the 12th of her short LPGA Tour career. Ko has now won the last two majors, meaning that at just 18, she's the youngest in LPGA Tour history to win two majors as she continues to break records and dominate the game.

“To me it’s more special to have just won this event and to win a major," said Ko. "Obviously it makes it extra special that I’m the youngest winner to win two majors, but just to win any event is special, and just to know that the hard work that you’ve put in as a team kind of paid off. All the stats and everything comes at the end. Just to embrace this win, I think that’s the special part, more than the youngest something.”

What was more surprising was how hard Ko was pushed, finishing just one shot clear of England's Charley Hull and Korea's Gee Chun. 

Ko needed to drain putts from all over the shop in yesterday's final round in order to shoot a 3-under 69 and secure victory. 

“I’m proud that I was able to make those clutch putts, especially on the back nine,” said Ko. 

Just look at some of the bombs she holed...

One interesting element of Ko's victory was the strategy she employed on the final hole, the par-5 18th. 

Tied at with Hull and Ariya Jutanugarn at 11-under, Ko considered going for the green in two, seeking a birdie or eagle that would have put her clear of Hull, who was already in the clubhouse, and really piling the pressure on Jutanugarn. 

Instead, Ko opted to lay up. Her decision was vindicated when she hit her approach to two feet and duly holed the birdie putt. Had Ko failed to get up and down and ended up not winning the tournament, she would have been criticised for not going for it. As it turned out, her victory proves that you don't always have to go for it in order to take matters into your own hands and seize victory.

Ko's birdie left Jutanugarn, who was playing in the group behind, needing a birdie to force a playoff. She hooked her final tee shot into the water, handing victory to Ko.

Ko was clearly keen to thank the water for playing its part...

What are the chances of this week's Masters winner taking a plunge into the water wearing their green jacket?

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