28 Nov 2014

Ko back home but on the go

12:12 pm on 28 November 2014

Lydia Ko's arrived back in New Zealand, fresh from earning the biggest payday in women's golf history after winning the LPGA's Tour Championship in Florida.

Ko is having some time off from the game but is unsure whether she'll play in next year's New Zealand women's Open at Clearwater in Christchurch which will be played in late February.

"It's clashing with one of the LPGA events and we haven't discussed the schedule in full yet," she says. "It feels good to be home and seeing my friends and I can get out of the tour life for now."

"It's been a fantastic rookie year and I wouldn't have expected to be in this situation and I'm just going to rest up and hopefully have a good year next year too."

The New Zealand Open will clash with an LPGA event in Thailand and earlier this week New Zealand Gold chief executive Dean Murphy expects Ko will probably have to play early season LPGA events to try and move her way up the standings.

Ko won the New Zealand Open in 2013 and was runner-up this year as she played through illness.

Lydia Ko's appearance at the New Zealand Open last year attracted healthy crowds.

Lydia Ko's appearance at the New Zealand Open last year attracted healthy crowds. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

She would again be a major drawcard in 2015 after her outstanding rookie professional season and her absence from the tournament would hurt its appeal to local fans.

Murphy hopes the golfing public would understand Ko's reasons if she has to miss the event.

"Emotionally everyone would love to see her back in New Zealand and we do need to remember she's only been professional for just over a year now so it's very early in her career," he says.

"We're going to see a lot of her in New Zealand over the next 10, 15, 20 years, so we do need to remember that."