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Ko defeats Lee to win LPGA's Founders Cup


South Korean Ko Jin-young won the LPGA's Founders Cup for the third time on Sunday, clinching a playoff victory over Australia's Minjee Lee in Clifton, New Jersey.

Ko, who triumphed on different courses in 2021 and 2019, defeated defending champion Lee with a par on the first playoff hole where the Australian, who had a two-stroke lead with three holes to go, three-putted for bogey.

Lee went into Sunday's final round at the Upper Montclair Country Club with a three-stroke lead but suffered a setback with a double bogey on the par-3 sixth, where she found the water.

She then made bogey on the par-4 16th allowing Ko to come into contention.

The 27-year-old Korean, who was bogey-free in her final round, was able to force a playoff when she birdied the last hole.

It was the fourth straight LPGA tournament that has been decided by a playoff and Ko said she hadn't overcomplicated her approach to the final round.

"I didn't have, like, game plan. I just feel tired the last three days, so I really want to focus on my game," said Ko.

The high-winds made low scoring difficult but Ko said it had forced her to focus and keep her mind off the leaderboard.

"I played really, really good. It was so windy, was too windy out there, so I thought if I (can) play really well I could have a chance to win.

"So I really focused myself and focused shot by shot on every hole and didn't look the scoreboard. I didn't think about the other players," she added.

With the win, Ko is projected to move from fifth to first in the Race to the CME Globe.

Now in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour, Ko has 14 wins including two major championships.

South Africa's Ashleigh Buhai finished third at 10-under-par, three shots behind the leaders.


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