2 Feb 2014

Ko comes agonisingly close at Clearwater

6:18 pm on 2 February 2014

The defending champion Lydia Ko has finished second to South Korean Mi Hyang Lee at the New Zealand golf Open in Christchurch.

The Auckland teenage star's quest to defend her title went down to the wire, but the 16-year-old came up short - by one shot.

After Lee shot a course record nine under par 63 final round, Ko needed to birdie the final two holes just to force a playoff.

But the world number four could only manage one birdie from there, finishing her final round with a 2 under 70.

Ko's two American playing partners, Beth Allen and Anya Alvarez, shared third place, one shot further back, alongside first round co-leader Seon Woo Bae, another South Korean.