Ko holds her nerve to claim first major in California

Ko Jin-young tees off on the 16th hole during the third round of the ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills CC-Dinah Shore Tournament Course in Rancho Mirage California

Ko Jin-young tees off on the 16th hole during the third round of the ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills CC-Dinah Shore Tournament Course in Rancho Mirage California

"I haven't played that great here in previous years, but this is the place where I've always wanted to win and play well", Kang said. She's in a whole new world now.

"The wind didn't really come as much as I expected", Kim said. I don't like numbers like No. 1 or No. 2. I guess it's just expectations, that I didn't know I could live up to maybe.

"I quite lost it", she said.

"I won. I can believe it now".

But her tee shot on 14 landed in the water and she dropped further with a bogey on the next hole which saw her lead cut to just one stroke.

Ko's round was far from flawless as she stumbled down the stretch with a double bogey and bogey on Nos.

Ko was winning for the fourth time on the LPGA Tour and completing a desert sweep after taking the Founders Cup in Phoenix last month. In three previous appearances at the ANA Inspiration, Ko's best finish was T-64 past year. In five starts this year, she has finished T-3 or better four times.

"If a little bit miss shot, It's OK", Ko said. "I practice hard in the Palm Springs in January".

Ko gave caddie David Brooker his third victory in the event. The Englishman also leaped into Poppie's Pond with Grace Park in 2004 and Lorena Ochoa in 2008.

"I had couple rounds on this course with my coach", Ko said. She won the KEB Hana Bank Championship as a Korean LPGA pro in 2017, earning her American LPGA membership with that title.

Canada's Alena Sharp, Australian Katherine Kirk and Lee Jeongeun6 of South Korea are tied for fifth at three-under. "I'm so happy with this week".

A double bogey at the 11th took Kim out of contention, while Lee tried to put some pressure on Ko with a birdie at the 12th.

Only needing to avoid a catastrophe on the green, Ko drained the long birdie putt to cap off her maiden major.

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When she made that two-hole mistake on Saturday she said: "I am not a robot; I'm human".

Lexi Thompson was third at 6 under after a 67.

"It feels unbelievable", Thompson said.

The 30-year-old Kim is hoping to redeem herself after missing a 35 centimetre (14 inch) putt on the 18th hole of the 2012 tournament that would have delivered her the championship.

Kim declined to comment after the round.

Ciganda finished with a 68.

Ko Jin-young (center) celebrates her victory at the ANA Inspiration in California on Sunday.

Overnight leader Ko closed with a two-under 70 in hot and mostly calm conditions to finish at 10-under 278 for a three-stroke victory over Lee.

Jin Young Ko, of South Korea, poses with the Dinah Shore Trophy after winning the LPGA Tour ANA Inspiration golf tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Sunday, April 7, 2019. The very next week at Kia Classic, Ko tied for second place.

Jin Young Ko turned a four-stroke deficit into a five-stroke lead in only 10 holes, then almost gave it all back.

Lee received $275,721 for finishing second at the ANA, her best finish in a major tournament.

The first Monday qualifier to win on the tour in nine years, the Canadian birdied three of the final five holes for his second straight 6-under 66 and a two-stroke victory over Charley Hoffman.

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