11 Jul 2016

Ko finishes third at US Open

5:23 pm on 11 July 2016

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko has gone from leading the US Women's Open after eight holes on the final round, to finishing in a share of third.

Lydia Ko in Rancho Mirage, 2015.

Lydia Ko Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Ko struggled down the final stretch to finish four under par, two shots behind American Brittany Lang and Sweden's Anna Nordqvist, who went into a playoff.

At 19, Ko was aiming to become the youngest golfer to win three major titles, and she had been two strokes clear with 12 holes to play before her round unravelled with bogeys at the eighth, 12th and 14th, and a damaging double-bogey at the ninth.

Despite the setback - her second straight at a major after losing a playoff to Brooke Henderson at the PGA Championship in June - Ko was upbeat about her performance.

"Unfortunately I am not the one holding the trophy... but I feel proud of the way I played," Ko said.

"I wasn't in any good position after the first day and even to be leading after three days I think was a good performance, so I mean, I'm proud with the way I played and this is the best finish I've had at the US Open so I think there's a lot of positives."

After a final round of 75, Ko shared third place with three South Korean golfers: Park Sung-hyun, Amy Yang, and Ji Eun-hee.

The Open finished in controversy when Nordqvist incurred a two-stroke penalty for grounding a club in a bunker, handing Lang her first major title.

Following a video review by officials, Nordqvist was penalised for her actions in a fairway bunker on the second extra hole, the par-four 17th, where her five-iron lightly grazed the sand on her takeaway.

Lang, whose only previous LPGA win came at the 2012 Manulife Financial Classic, ended up winning the three-hole aggregate playoff after making three consecutive pars.

The duo had ended the final round on six-under-par 282 at CordeValle Golf Club in the third of the year's five major championships.

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