Jin Young Ko made two birdies on the three closing holes at Mission Hills Country Club’s Dinah Shore Course to card a final-round 70, and claim the ANA Inspiration trophy along with a leap into Poppie’s Pond.
The 23-year-old Korean battled through a roller-coaster round which included five birdies against three bogeys en route to a four-day total of 10 under, three strokes clear of compatriot Mi Hyang Lee, who also posted a 2-under 70.
The win was Ko’s fourth of her LPGA career, and first major championship.
“When I was 10 years old, so 15 years ago, I watched on TV like this tournament,” said Ko, who is projected to become Rolex Rankings World No. 1.
“All the players like high five all the fans. I thought that memory, so it’s a really — I had little bit cried on the bridge. I can’t still believe.”
Ko’s win makes her the first multiple winner of the 2019 LPGA season after she topped the leaderboard at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup two weeks ago.
She is the fifth Korean golfer to win the ANA, joining Grace Park (2004), Sun Young Yoo (2012), Inbee Park (2013) and So Yeon Ryu (2017).
Lee ended her four days in Rancho Mirage, California on 7-under par, good for a solo second. Lexi Thompson, who had a birdie chance on the 18th to match Lee, finished at 6 under to secure a third-place finish.
Carlota Ciganda (67) and In-Kyung Kim (74) tied for fourth at 5 under.
FINAL TOP-5 FINISHERS
Pos-Player-To Par (Final Rd)
1. Jin Young Ko -10 (-2)
2. Mi Hyang Lee -7 (-2)
3. Lexi Thompson -6 (-5)
4. Carlota Ciganda -5 (-4)
4. I.K. Kim -5 (+2)
Credit: LPGA Communications, Getty Images