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Lydia Ko @ New South Wales Open, Australia

 

 

 

Lydia Ko. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Lydia Ko / Brett Phibbs

Ladies World number one amateur, Lydia Ko, came really close to defending her title here at the New South Wales Open in Sydney on the Oatlands Golf Club course. Lydia made history last year when she won this title as a 14 year-old, becoming the youngest winner of a professional  event.

Lydia was beaten in the final two holes  by Swedish professional player Caroline Hedwall, the pair were level going into the last two holes of the tournament, with Caroline eventually winning by two shots. Caroline said it had been exciting;

‘ It was exciting the last time and it was quite exciting this time too,  it was fun, I enjoyed it. ‘I thought about the last time I was here two years ago, when Lydia was one-up going to the last one, so I knew I had to hit it close because she can make a birdie on this one and I can make a bogey so I hit a great shot and that set up for a nice birdie putt and put a lot of pressure on her for the last one, so it was a nice way to finish. ‘I really enjoy those situations. I love being under pressure, that’s what I practice for.”

image

Caroline Hedwall 

 

Lydia said in interview that she had been happy with the way she had played;

I think I did pretty good, I would have liked to have some more putts go in, but golf isn’t an easy game where everything goes the way you want it to. I play well here, I came second two years ago, first last year and second this year, so I think it’s a pretty good tournament. I haven’t played like this in one tournament before, so I’m pretty happy and I think I played some good golf out there.”

The trouble started when her tee shot hit a tree, and from that position the ball found the greenside bunker, and the normally unflappable Lydia admitted she may have been affected by the prospect of victory while standing over her par put.

” I was like, ‘oh my God, maybe I could win this’, but I think I got a little bit excited and a little bit tense in the shoulders and it went straight left. I had a good put and it just lipped out.”

Lydia will now head to the ladies masters in Queensland this week, before playing the New Zealand Women’s Open at the Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch from February 8-10.

Lydia Ko, 2013 Season Starts at Australia Amateur Championships.

Lydia Ko / Canadian Open Trophy with Royal Canadian Mounties /cbssports.com

Lydia Ko the New Zealand World Number One Amateur player, and winner of last years LPGA Tour Canadian Open, starts her 2013 season off at the Australia Amateur Championships, in Melbourne tomorrow. Lydia is the defending Champion.

The 15-year-old New Zealand sportswoman of the year candidate, and world’s leading female amateur, has not played a tournament since the Swinging Skirts Ladies World Masters in Taipei early last December. But according to her coach, Guy Wilson, the director of instruction at the New Zealand Institute of Golf, Lydia has been hard at it and not relaxing too much;

” The only reason she got a day off on Christmas Day was because the courses were closed. She had New Year’s Day off as well, otherwise there’s been no real relaxing, it’s been eight hours a day, seven days a week.”

Lydia has received funding from High Performance Sport New Zealand, it amounts to $230,000 NZ over the next two years. This cash injection makes it easier for her to participate in some of the  prestigious tournaments in the United States and Europe. Coach Wilson is delighted;

“She will play in all the Majors this year.”

He also stated that Lydia was looking forward to the challenges this year, and remaining the Ladies World Number One Amateur, but importantly continuing her education at her chosen college in the United States;

“It’s all important for her to continue to be the world No.1 amateur and have really good finishes so when she does turn pro she is as marketable as she is now. The good thing is she’s playing in a lot more events with real profile, which should help her as well.” 

Good Luck Lydia, we will be watching you !!!

 

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