Lydia Ko / Joseph Johnson
Lovely Lydia Ko, the fifteen year old sensation from New Zealand, won the New Zealand Women’s Open at Clearwater Golf Club on Sunday by one stroke from American professional Amelia Lewis. This is the World Amateur Number One winning her third professional tournament. Amelia took home the paycheck, but Lydia was happy with her trophy, although she did have a few tearful moments afterwards;
” I didn’t cry at the Canadian Open, I guess this tournament meant more.”
Amelia said she does not play for the money, but this time the check for $30,000 will help soften the feelings of defeat;
” I don’t play for the money, but I guess it does soften the blow.”
Congratulations Lydia, I guess it will not be too long before Tiger Woods and Nike come knocking at your door.
Aussie Lindsey Wright has returned from the golfing wilderness to win the New Zealand Women’s Open today. Lindsey was once No 12 in the world before taking time out of the game with a loss of form. She nailed a 4m birdie putt on the final hole to claim victory at Pegasus Golf and Sports Club near Christchurch today. A final round four-under 68 to finish on 10-under par and a total of 206 was enough to beat Jessica Speechley and Alison Walshe by one shot for the title.
She and her caddy were amazed at her turn around in form;
“It’s unbelievable. It’s still sinking in. I putted really well all day and the last six holes I was really nervous. I haven’t been in this position for a while and I thought to myself , I can win this. I looked at the leaderboard and saw Alison Walshe up there and Speechley at nine-under and thought, no I can make this putt. Just keep your head down, just hit a great putt. My caddy was more shocked that I was I think.”
DEAN KOZANIC/Fairfax NZ
Leading New Zealander was 17 year old Cecilia Cho, the World No. 3 ranked amateur, who shot a three-under 69 to finish on five-under, edging her good friend and rival Lydia Ko by one shot,to bring the curtain down on her outstanding amateur career as she now returns to Korea to turn professional.
“I have watched Lydia play and she was good this week. It is good being out of the spotlight but I am fine being in the spotlight as well. It’s good to get some momentum before I turn professional . It would have been nice to score lower but it’s been a good tournament. I am going to miss so much about New Zealand. I am going to miss travelling with teams but turning pro is a new challenge and I am excited about that.”
Lydia Ko acknowledged the performance of her good friend Cecilia Cho;
“Her playing good improved my game and hopefully me playing good improved her game. I played good today but my putts didn’t roll in today like the other two days. I am happy but kind of disappointed to. I won the NSW Open and Australian Amateur so not winning here is not going to make me depressed or too disappointed.”