UPDATE 1-Golf-Kiwi Ko becomes youngest LPGA winner

Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:52am IST

* South Korean-born amateur is just 15

* Ko wins Canadian tournament by three strokes

* Previous youngest tour winner was 16 (Adds details, quotes)

Aug 26 (Reuters) - New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko became the youngest player to win a LPGA Tour event when the 15-year-old captured the Canadian Women's Open by three strokes on Sunday.

American Lexi Thompson was the previous youngest with her 2011 Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour victory at age 16.

"It means a lot to me, it's a professional event and I just came to make the cut and play my best," the South Korean-born Ko told reporters. "But to win and get the trophy is amazing. It's been a great couple of weeks."

Ko, the recent winner of the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, carded a stellar five-under-par 67 on the final day at Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam to finish at 13-under 275, three clear of South Korean Inbee Park at 10-under 278.

She played the opening nine holes in one under par before using four consecutive birdies to open the back nine.

Ko added another on the 15th and although she bogeyed the last she showed no signs of nerves in the biggest moment of her young career.

Ko made headlines in January by becoming the youngest ever winner of a professional event as a 14-year-old at the New South Wales Open in Australia.

"I didn't have to do anything," club member Brian Alexander who was Ko's caddy for the week, told reporters after her final round.

"I just confirmed the odd time and stood back in awe. It was a remarkable performance." (Writing by Gene Cherry in Raleigh and Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by John Mehaffey and Gene Cherry)

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