'Old' Ko not stressing over missed three-peat

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DALY CITY, Calif. – Lydia Ko shrugged her shoulders in the end.

Wind gusting to 35 mph Sunday helped blow away her chances to win the Swinging Skirts Classic for a third consecutive year, but it couldn’t whisk away her sense of humor.

“If I was half my weight, I’d probably be flying away like a balloon,” Ko cracked after closing with a 3-over-par 75 to tie for sixth. “It almost was kind of like a British Open, U.S. Open mixture today. Obviously, the course style is more like a U.S. Open, but when we go out and play the British, this is when we have big gusts of wind, like this all day.”

Ko, who celebrated her 19th birthday Sunday, started the day six shots back and wasn’t able to mount a charge in winds that gave the entire field fits.

“Obviously, I would have loved to have shot something crazy under par, but it was tough,” Ko said. “I felt I played really strong, made quite a few good up-and-downs on the back nine, and I'm happy with the way I finished this week. Yeah, top 10 around here, I'll take it.”

Ko ended her round late for her birthday party, scheduled at a Japanese buffet in San Francisco. She was going to join her mother, father and sister as well as fellow LPGA pros So Yeon Ryu, In Gee Chun, Minjee Lee and Jessica Korda at the party.

Ko was serenaded with a Happy Birthday greeting at the first tee.

“I’m old now, huh?” Ko said. “Older than yesterday, getting older by the second. It’s been a really fun week, and it’s been really cool to have my birthday here the last three years.”