Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Lydia Ko never trailed Sunday and hung on to beat Jaye Marie Green, 3 & 1, in the final of the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship.
The final match was all-square for just four holes. Ko won the 17th in the morning session with a birdie and led the rest of the way at The Country Club.
"I didn't really expect this trophy to be mine," Ko said at the trophy presentation. "I said before the tournament that I trained hard back in New Zealand. I've got the trophy now, and it means a lot."
Armed with a 1-up lead heading into the afternoon 18, Ko and Green halved the first five holes.
The turning point was on the 24th hole. Green's tee shot hit a tree and stopped in long grass under tree. She tried twice to hack her ball out from the tough lie, but failed to do so and conceded the hole.
Ko, the top-ranked women's amateur in the world, chipped in for birdie on the 25th to push her lead to 3-up. She rolled in a 4-footer for birdie at the next to move 4-up.
Both players missed birdie putts on the 29th hole and were next to each other. Ko, trying to not step on Green's mark, missed her short par effort. Green tapped in for par to cut the deficit to 3-down
The match remained that way until Green, 18, birdied the 34th hole to get within 2-down. However, the match was over one hole later.
Green's approach came up short at 17 and she chipped some 25 feet by the hole. Ko, 15, lagged her birdie effort to three feet and was conceded her par and the match when Green failed to convert her par-saving putt.
"I hung in the whole way. I was 4-down and a bunch of putts just lipped out on me. Still to come down 17, I don't know how I chunked that shot," Green said in a televised interview. "I'm really happy to be runner-up. Lydia's No. 1, she's a great player and she's only 15, so that's kind of scary."
Early on, Ko birdied the par-5 second to take a 1-up lead. Another birdie at the fourth moved her 2-up, but Green answered with a 4-foot birdie putt at six.
After five straight halves, Green drained a 15-footer for birdie to square the match. Ko won the 13th, but Green came back to take the 15th with a par.
Ko knocked her second to five feet at 17 and converted the putt for birdie. That gave her a 1-up lead, which she took to the afternoon session.
08/12 17:24:56 ET