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Ko clings to No.1 despite last round slump

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/05/2017

Lydia Ko hits her tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the Kingsmill Championship © Hunter Martin/Getty Images Lydia Ko hits her tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the Kingsmill Championship Lydia Ko has drilled a birdie at the final hole to retain the No.1 world golf ranking for another week, adding a silver lining to a patchy finish to the LPGA Tour event in Virginia.

Ko slipped from third to 10th in the final round of the Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg on Monday (NZT) after closing with a roller-coaster final round of 73.

In a dramatic finish, two birdies in the last three holes meant the 20-year-old holds onto the top spot for an 83rd week.

She finished level on seven-under with second-ranked So Yeon Ryu, who has closed within a whisker of No.1.

There would have been a change at the top if Korean Ryu had finished above the Kiwi.

That looked like happening when Ko shot a double-bogey on the par-five 15th hole, dropping her two behind Ryu, who was already in the clubhouse.

Ko recovered her poise with birdies on two par-four finishing holes, the 16th and 18th.

She sunk a 2m putt on the 18th hole and seemingly knew the implications, following it up with a fist pump.

Ko's reign may nevertheless end over coming weeks. She is reportedly set to skip the tour's next two events in Michigan and New Jersey to work on her game.

American Lexi Thompson was an emphatic winner on 20-under, closing with a 65 to be five strokes clear of Korean In Gee Chun.

Third-placed American Angela Stanford was a further four shots back.

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