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Ko, 17, wins $1.5 million capturing CME Group Tour Championship

Final Round – LPGA Tour – CME Group Tour Championship –Tiburon Golf Club – Naples, Florida –

Lydia Ko earned $1.5 million Sunday capturing both the CME Group Tour Championship and the season-long Race to the CME Globe competition.

Ko, just 17 years old and named Rookie of the Year earlier this month, entered the week third in the standings behind leader Stacy Lewis and Rolex Ranking No. 1 Inbee Park. But, Ko positioned herself for a final-round run at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples.

Ko shot 68 to earn a spot in a playoff against overnight leader Julieta Granada and Carlota Ciganda at 10-under overall.

Ciganda, who entered with three career Ladies European Tour victories, had missed a short putt on the 71st hole with a shot to close out the victory. And, then she missed a make-able putt again with a chance at her maiden LPGA Tour victory on the third playoff hole. She made an error on his approach on the fourth playoff hole handing the victory to Ko, who became the youngest player ever to win five times before her 18th birthday.

Morgan Pressel finished alone in fourth place at 8-under, while Sandra Gal and Michelle Wie logged T-5 efforts.

For Lewis, she ended up T-9, while Park struggled all week to a T-24.

Lewis won three times earlier in the season between May and June and logged 18 Top 10s in 2014. She led the Money list and in Scoring Average most of the year. She was also Top 5 in Greens In Regulation percentage.

Ko entered the week third in the Rolex Ranking and was a 12-to-1 betting selection to win the tour championship heading into the week, according to www.ladbrokes.com. This was her first playoff experience on tour and her first victory since July.

Other Golf news:

  • Nick Cullen, a 100-1 long shot, captured the Australasia Tour’s Beteasy Australian Masters in Melbourne edging two-time defending champion Adam Scott by a stroke.
  • Hideki Matsayama held on to capture the Japan Tour’s Dunlap Phoenix Open in a playoff. Matsayama, 20th in the world rankings, won the PGA Tour’s Memorial Tournament earlier this year.
  • Henrik Stenson (16-under) beat out Rory McIlroy, Victor Dubuisson and Justin Rose by two shots to defend his title at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
  •  The LPGA Tour announced it will begin the 2015 season with a new event – Coates Golf Championship. The tour will feature 33 tournaments plus the Solheim Cup in 2015. Ocala, Florida will host the season opener before the tour heads to the Bahamas for the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.
  • Ko hit every Fairway in Regulation during the final round in a bogey-free effort.