MELBOURNE: Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn struggled through yesterday's final round to finish third at the Women's Australian Open.
Having shared the lead with world No.1 Lydia Ko after three rounds, Ariya shot a 76 with two birdies to fall off the pace, finishing on four-under-par 288, five strokes behind Ko, who carded a 71 for a nine-under 283 to take home her sixth LPGA title.
Despite failing to take home the trophy, Ariya produced another impressive performance following her runners-up spot at the Bahamas Classic two weeks ago.
Ko became the youngest-ever world No.1 earlier this month and is now the youngest player to win the Australian Open crown.
It was her first tournament victory since moving to the top of the world rankings.
Ko and Yang battled throughout the final round, with a 90-minute suspension of play for lightning helping Ko's cause.
While Ko had just dropped a shot on the eighth, Yang had birdied nine and was ready to putt for an eagle on 10 when the warning siren sounded.
Yang settled for a birdie after her ball circled the hole but failed to drop. It gave her the lead but it did not last long with Ko adding two birdies on the back nine.
Yang also had two birdies, but bogeys on 15 and 17 snuffed out her challenge.
"I think that break was really good for me," Ko said. "I had some lunch and got my stuff together there and I played much better after that."
Ko's record also includes being the youngest golfer to win a professional event, taking out the women's NSW Open when she was 14.
She said she loved playing in Australia and approached each tournament here with the mindset she could win.
"I've always played well in Australia, so it's always cool coming back here," she said.