Lydia Ko wins in Thailand to clinch Ryder Cup berth

Lydia Ko scored her seventh victory in a season that is shaping up to be her best yet, winning at the Thailand Open on Sunday to secure her spot on the European Ryder Cup team.

The New Zealander closed with a four-under-par 68 for a one-shot victory over Ayako Uehara of Japan and Denmark’s Pernilla Lindberg in her final round at the Siam Country Club in Bangkok.

Ko, who will make her Ryder Cup debut in a two-golfer team at the 2023 matches in France, was, until this week, only 21st in the race for the World Golf Rankings. The top 10 players qualify automatically and she is expected to move as high as fourth with the victory.

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Ko, who started the final round four shots off the lead, had six birdies and three bogeys to beat Lindberg by a shot.

It was her seventh victory in 19 events and the seventh win in her last 13 starts, the past two wins coming in the lucrative Race to the Dubai money list. She has 10 top-10 finishes in the year.

Ko made a name for herself as a teenager at the Australian Open and has not looked back since. Now 21, she is following in the footsteps of four-time major winner Annika Sorenstam and being labelled as one of the best young golfers in the world.

“I think, sometimes, results are so overrated,” Ko said after the win. “It is a very humbling sport and it is hard to win, so I always take it and take the positives, the things I am working on. That’s what I need to do going forward. I have done a lot of things well to get back on track.”

Uehara came within two shots of Ko on the back nine, before Ko missed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th that would have given her the outright lead.

Ko would find the top of the leaderboard at the last hole, but there was no closer challenge as she recorded her lowest scoring round of the year.

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