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Lydia Ko takes out LOTTE Championship in Hawaii recording first win in three years

Lydia Ko has broken a three year winless drought to take out the LOTTE Championship in Hawaii today, after shooting a 7-under 65 to finish with a 7-stroke lead overall.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand plays a tee shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club on April 15, 2021 in Kapolei, Hawaii. Source: Getty

It is her first LPGA Tour event win since 2018 however, with her run of form so far this year, it was only a matter of time.

Ko looked unstoppable on the fourth and final day at the Kapolei golf course, shooting yet another bogey-free round and amassing seven birdies.

The 23-year-old consistently performed off the tee finding fairways with ease and exuding confidence throughout. 

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Ko was unstoppable on the final day at the Kapolei golf course carding a 7-under 65 on the final day to finish with a 7-stroke lead.

Ko went into the final day with America's Nelly Korda close behind sitting one-shot off the pace however her day unraveled with three bogeys on the low-scoring course, while Ko tore ahead.

Korda would come back to reclaim a share of second place however Ko's efforts in the previous rounds and an immaculate final round kept the lead well out of reach for the rest of the field. 

After putting in for par on the 18th, Ko was met with champagne showers on the green from her fellow competitors and, in what has become a tradition for LOTTE Champions, Ko performed a hula after receiving her winner's lei. 

A composed Ko reflected on her struggles over the past three years with overcoming her own self doubts about whether she would win again.  

"When you're in that position and it doesn't happen, you do doubt. If I said 'no, I didn't doubt myself at all' I think that would be a lie," she said.

"Hand on my heart I know there were times I wondered, 'I don't know if I'm ever going to be back in the winners circle'."

Ko missed out on winning the Marathon LPGA Classic last year coming in second. However, she said her approach this time around was different.

"[As] I told my mum this morning..honestly before Marathon, I couldn't even sleep on Saturday night 'cause even though I had been in that position before it had been such a long time ago. I think I was putting a lot of pressure on myself and I know there were expectations," Ko said. 

"I slept great last night I Just said 'my fate is already chosen and I'm just going to play the best golf I can today' and I hung in there."

On top of her win today, Ko has recorded two second place finishes and another top 10 finish this year, coming agonisingly close to a win earlier this month at the ANA Inspiration event. 

Ko now sits second on the overall season standings behind Korda.