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Lydia Ko holds off Danielle Kang to win Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio


Lydia Ko pulled ahead with a birdie on the 15th hole and matched scores with Danielle Kang the rest of the way, closing with a 3-under 69 for a 1-shot victory on a chilly Sunday in the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio.

Ko won for the second straight season after enduring a three-year slump and picked up the 17th victory of her LPGA Tour career.

Kang, who closed with a 68, was trying to win back-to-back for the second time in three years. She won the season-opening Tournament of Champions a week ago in Orlando.

U.S. Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso, now playing under the Japanese flag, birdied the last two holes for a 67 and finished 2 shots behind.

Ko finished at 14-under 274.

Nelly Korda closed with a 70 and tied for 20th, a result that is expected to drop her from No. 1 in the women’s world ranking. Jin Young Ko, who skipped both Florida events to stay home in South Korea, would return to No. 1.

The LPGA Tour will wrap up its Florida swing next week at the LPGA Drive On Championship in Fort Myers.

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