29 Apr 2009

Schoolgirls battle it out for NZ amateur title

6:23 am on 29 April 2009

Cecilia Cho and Lydia Ko had a good reason to miss the second day of the new school term -- the pair were battling for the New Zealand women's amateur golf championship over 36-holes in west Auckland.

Both bespectacled and wearing pink tops, the 14-year-old Cho beat Ko, who turned 12 only last Friday, four and three after establishing a four-hole lead through the first 18 holes.

The Korean pair were the youngest finalists in the 115-year history of the amateur championship while Cho was the second-youngest to win the title, at three weeks and three days older than Larissa Eruera was when she won in 2006.

Cho had established a six-hole lead by the 26th, then held off a spirited fightback from Ko, who won the next three holes before Cho's approach on the 33rd set up a birdie to win.

Cho says her next goal is become a New Zealand citizen and get into the national team.

Ko, who first played the championship when she was seven, says she forgot about being six down and just went for it.