7 Nov 2016

Ko struggles in Japan

7:54 am on 7 November 2016

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko finished well off the pace in a tie for 43rd at the latest LPGA tour event in Japan.

The World number one carded a final round three under par 69 to finish two under for the tournament, 11 shots behind the winner, China's Shanshan Feng.

Lydia Ko, February, 2016.

Lydia Ko Photo: Photosport

Feng won back-to-back tournaments for the first time in her career after the world number eight survived a late scare to secure a one-stroke victory over South Korea's Ha Na Jang at the co-sanctioned Japan Classic.

Feng completed her third and final round with a two-under 70 at the Taiheiyo Club's tree-lined Minori Course to claim her sixth LPGA Tour title, one week after winning the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

"I haven't won at the LPGA for two years and I just won back-to-back that means Shanshan is back," Feng told reporters.

Feng continued her bogey-free golf from the previous day by mixing four birdies with 13 pars over 17 holes but it was not all plain sailing for the 27-year-old as she three-putted for double-bogey on the par-four 18th to finish on 13-under 203.

Jang, who beat Feng by a stroke to win in Taiwan last month, shot her third straight four-under-par 68 but the Korean was always too far back to mount a serious challenge in the final event on the American-based circuit's Asian swing.

Defending champion Ahn Sun-ju tied for third at 10-under alongside Japan's Kotone Hori and fellow South Koreans Ryu So-yeon and Kang Soo-yun.

- Reuters