Lydia Ko scores her first LPGA title in three years.

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Lydia Ko won the Lotte Championship in Hawaii by seven shots. It was Ko’s 16th career LPGA win, but her first in three years.

Ko posted a final-round 65 on Saturday to finish at a blistering 28-under 260, comfortably outdistancing four players tied for second at 21 under to take home the $300,000 first-place draw.

South Koreans Inbee Park (63) and Sei Young Kim (65), as well as Ireland’s Leona Maguire (67) and Nelly Korda (71) finished at the Kapolei Golf Course with a total of 267.

Jenny Shin (63), Wei-Ling Hsu (66), Sarah Schmelzel (66), and Yuka Saso (70), all from South Korea, finished tied for sixth, nine strokes out.

Ko, who turns 24 in a week, played bogey-free golf in the final round but only had two birdies on the front nine. But she scorched the back nine with five birdies to round off a 67-63-65-65 tournament.

She had a one-shot advantage going into the final session.

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Lydia Ko plays a tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club

Lydia Ko plays a tee shot on the 12th hole during the final round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship at Kapolei Golf Club Photo: AFP

It was Ko’s first victory since the 2018 Mediheal Championship. Ko was relieved to have snapped her 1,084-day drought between victories.

“When you’re in that position [to win] and it doesn’t happen, you do doubt. If I said, no, I didn’t doubt myself at all, that would be a lie,” Ko told Golf Channel after her victory and her return to the winner’s circle.

“Hand on my heart, there were times when I wondered, ‘Hey, I don’t know if I’m ever going to be back in the winner’s circle.’ … To be back in this kind of position is obviously super cool. You know, with Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama winning the last couple weeks — and I know it’s been a while since they won, as well — that kind of gave me a little bit of hope that maybe I could follow that trend,” Ko said.

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Ko moves into a tie for 35th with World Golf Hall of Fame member Jan Stephenson for most wins on the LPGA Tour.

 Lydia Ko of New Zealand plays a tee shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship Kapolei, Hawaii.

Lydia Ko of New Zealand plays a tee shot on the 14th hole during the final round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship Kapolei, Hawaii. Photo: AFP

– Reuters

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