NEW Zealand’s Lydia Ko, the world’s No 1 amateur golfer, has become the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour.
The 15-year-old, who plays out of the Gulf Harbour Country Club, claimed a three-shot victory in the Canadian Open in Vancouver after a stunning five-under-par final round.
Her final round 67 at the Vancouver Golf Club included four birdies on the trot on the back nine, helping her hold off the challenge of South Korea pro Inbee Park.
The previous youngest winner was American Lexi Thompson who was 16 when she won the Navistar LPGA Classic last year, and Ko became only the fifth amateur to win on the women’s tour.
It is thought her win is the best finish by a Kiwi on the LPGA Tour since Lynette Brooky came 12th at the 2002 US Open.
After rounds of 68, 68 and 72, she held a one-shot lead going into the final day.
She started well with a birdie on the second and sixth holes, before dropping a shot on the seventh.
However Korea-born Ko had played the back nine well all week, and saved her best for last when it really counted.
She hit four straight birdies from 10 to 13, then added a fifth on 15 to all but confirm the title, APNZ said.
She held four-shot lead heading down the last and made bogey to win by three strokes.
It continues a stellar 2012 for the teen.
In January she won the New South Wales Open when still aged 14 to become the youngest player to win a professional tour event, having already been the youngest winner of the Australian Amateur.
Two weeks ago she was the first Kiwi to win the US Amateur and second youngest in history.
As an amateur, she can’t claim the massive US$300,000 winning cheque.