7 Feb 2011

Ko claims top amateur prize in Australian Women’s Open

5:54 am on 7 February 2011

North Harbour's Lydia Ko has become the first New Zealand golfer to win the trophy as leading amateur in the Australian Women's Open.

The talented 13 year old shot a final round two-over 75 to finish on three-under in a share of 12th place in Australia's flagship professional women's tournament, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

Ko battled the long Commonwealth Golf Club course in Melbourne with a maturity far beyond her years, coping well with the windy conditions.

She finished five shots ahead of her Srixon Academy team-mate Cecilia Cho in the battle for leading amateur, with the two New Zealand Golf representatives and Korean Annie Choi the only amateurs to make the cut.

Ko says she learned more than she could have expected at the tournament after being paired with some of the world's best players during the week.

She is going to bypass next week's Ladies Masters in Queensland to prepare for the New Zealand Open starting on February the 17th.

Defending champion Taiwan's Yani Tseng made it two in a row in a one-way battle today, firing a two-under par 71 to finish on 16-under.

She was a stunning seven shots clear of Koreans Eun-Hee Ji and Jiyai Shin, the current world number one, and England's Melissa Reid, who fired a five-under 68 today.