February 21, 2016 / 8:08 AM / 3 years ago

Nomura holds off Ko to land first LPGA title

Haru Nomura of Japan tees off the fifth hole during the second round of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic women's golf tournament at the Grey Silo course in Waterloo, June 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

(Reuters) - Japanese golfer Haru Nomura held off world number one Lydia Ko down the stretch to land the Women’s Australian Open in Adelaide on Sunday for her first LPGA Tour title.

Nomura, starting the day in a three-way tie for the lead, shot a blistering final round seven-under-par 65 as she edged out Kiwi Ko (67), the defending champion, by three shots.

Ko was only one back after 14th holes but world number 67 Nomura calmly made three consecutive birdie threes from the 15th to pull away from her illustrious opponent and seal the top prize with a 16-under 272 total.

“My shots were good, but my putts were so good I couldn’t believe it,” Nomura was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.

Seven-times major champion Karrie Webb of Australia finished a distant third, seven back of the 23-year-old champion, after a closing 71.

Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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