South Korea's Jin Young Ko shot a 3-under par 69 Sunday to clinch a 3-shot, start-to-finish win the Women's Australian Open.
There is a caveat to Ko's feat; the 22-year-old won the LPGA's KEB Hana Bank Championship last October when she wasn't an official member of the LPGA.
The other contenders fell away, with compatriot Shin Ji-yai dropping back two shots on the day, while Emma Talley of the U.S. gave back four.
And with the scintillating win by Brittany Lincicome in the season-opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic followed by this impressive effort by Jin Young Ko in Australia the year if off to a rocking start, one befitting of a way to honor what Nancy Lopez achieved 40 years ago.
She fired a closing three-under par 69, starting out with two birdies that stretched her initial lead of four shots to six.
Ko, the 20-year-old New Zealander, has again switched to another coach and caddie and has had 11 caddies since turning pro five years ago. Medication helped temper the pain Sunday and she bounced back nicely. "This course is narrow, and then there's the green, so I'm thinking about only the greens and then try to two putt", she said of her strategy for the final round.
In this AFP photo, Ko Jin-young of South Korea takes a shot during the final round of the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open of the LPGA Tour on February 18, 2018, en route to a three-stroke victory over fellow South Korean Choi Hye-jin.
"I focused on my game and I think my chipping and putting were keys", she said about her solid play at Kooyonga. Asked by a reporter whether Player of the Year was a realistic option, Ko replied: "No, not yet".
She made some mistakes along the way, but none too serious, and hit 15 of the 18 greens in regulation.
"No, I couldn't see it", Haglund said.
"My goal was to get into every major, and I know that's quite hard being a rookie this year, so hopefully I've made enough money and keep making money to make sure that I'm definitely in", said Green, who earned $US87,000 and is happy with the start to her season.
Ko hit three birdies and three bogeys across an inconsistent round of golf, in what appears a continuation of her 2017 woes. "It's great to be playing an Aussie Open and be contending".
Green's compatriot Katherine Kirk posted Sunday's lowest round, a seven-under 65, to finish fourth at nine-under.