Lydia Ko sets record as Stenson holds on to win in Dubai

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Seventeen-year-old New Zealander Lydia Ko finished her rookie campaign of the LPGA Tour on top. 

As she entered Sunday in a three-way tie, she won $1 million bonus in the inaugural “Race to CME Globe.”  For the tiebreaker, the PGA committee chose the No. 18 hole to playoff since four birdies had occurred at the shot during the week.  Ko finished for par all five times to come away with the victory

On top of the win, Ko won another $500,000.  She finished with a total of $1.5 million and the biggest pay off ever in women’s golf.  Excluding the million she won entering the playoff, Ko extended her earnings to over $2 million, making her the first ever LPGA Tour rookie to surpass the total. 

As much as Ko is credited for her win, she had help from competitors Carlota Cingada of Spain and Julieta Granada of Paraguay. 

Granada was the first to be knocked out of the playoff as her five-foot putt on the 18th hole spun out.  Cingada with a score of 70 had two opportunities to take the lead.  At the No. 17 hole in regulation, Cingada missed a 3-foot birdie along with a five-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole in the third playoff.      

On the fourth time at the No. 18 hole, Cingada pulled her shot from the fairway, but watched as it rolled down the slope.    

At the season ending event in the European Tour, the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai was a tight race among the top four. 

Henrik Stenson entered Sunday 2-under 70, but won by two strokes and a total of 16-under 272.  Ryder Cup teammates Rory McIlroy, Victor Dubuisson and Justin Rose all shared second with 14-under 274.

This was the first time in Stenson’s career where he successfully defended his title.

Following the tournament, Stenson was very excited and is looking forward to trying to win the tournament for a third straight year.

McIlroy, on the other hand, felt that no one appeared to take control of the tournament, but he acknowledged he knew he did not play well.