LPGA TourFebruary 21, 2016

Japan's Haru Nomura wins first LPGA event, beating Lydia Ko by 3 in Australia


Sometimes doing what’s expected—when expectations are high—is the most difficult thing.

Lydia Ko added to her rapidly growing legacy when she went home and won the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open two weeks ago, then island-hopped to a second-place finish in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open.

The top player on the Rolex Rankings finished three strokes behind Haru Nomura, a 23-year-old from Japan who picked up her first LPGA victory in her 72nd start. Ko closed with a 67, a score bettered Sunday only by the 65 posted by Nomura, who finished at 16-under-par 272.

“It makes me feel like I should try more and play better,” Nomura (shown) said about hearing the cheers as she played in the group behind Ko, who began the final round two back but pulled even with a birdie-birdie start.

Nomura rode those Ko cheers to a new gear, running off eight birdies in 13 holes beginning on the fifth to pull away.

“My goal was to shoot 67 today, and I shot 67,” Ko said. “I played really well, but Haru played even better.”

That’s one of the things about golf: You can’t control how your opponent plays. Nomura was the best in Australia, but the 18-year-old Ko made another clear statement that she is the best in women’s golf.