World number two Lydia Ko rewrote women’s golf history with a runaway victory in the Evian Championship and South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace celebrated her best ever finish in a Major championship with a tie for sixth in Evian-Les-Bains, France.
Among a swag of records she already held, Ko had been the youngest winner of a professional tournament, the youngest Ladies European Tour winner, youngest LPGA Tour champion and youngest world number one (male or female).
With her victory at the Evian Resort Golf Club, Ko became the youngest women’s golf Major champion in just her 17th Major appearance. And, as she has done on the last day in the majority of her 12 professional victories, the 18-year-old New Zealand protégée rushed past the opposition with a flawless eight-under-par 63 in the final round to triumph by six strokes.
At 18 years four months and 20 days, Ko eclipsed Morgan Pressel’s mark of 18 years 10 months and nine days in the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship.
“Now at least everyone won’t be asking me when I’ll win my first Major,” a delighted Ko said after signing off with a winning total of 16-under-par 268.
American Lexi Thompson finished at 10 under, two strokes clear of China’s Shanshan Feng, after both players returned 70s.
Meanwhile South Africa’s Pace had her own reasons to celebrate on the shores of Lake Geneva.
The multiple international champion fired a third round six under 65 to join the top 10 and closed with a 70 to join American Alison Lee in joint sixth at six under par 278.
Pace’s previous best in the Evian was a tie for 16th in 2012 before the event gained Major status. Pace and Lee finished a stroke ahead of world number one Inbee Park, who returned a 68 to tie for eighth with fellow South Koreans Eun-Hee Ji and Amy Jang.