28 Sep 2017

Big crowds and bad manners at NZ Golf Open

5:01 pm on 28 September 2017

Big time golf has come to Auckland but the golfing public doesn't seem ready.

A gallery of close to a thousand people followed Lydia Ko on her opening round at the New Zealand Women's open at Windross Farm but they struggled with some of the finer points of the game.

Ko, the world number eight, is used to large crowds on the LPGA Tour but the gallery at Windross Farm caught her off guard.

Many of those following her were unaware of golfing etiquette, with camera flashes and crowd movement disturbing her several times as she was about to play shots.

Lydia Ko receives a warm reception at the New Zealand Women's Open in Auckland.

Lydia Ko receives a warm reception at the New Zealand Women's Open in Auckland. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 20-year-old Ko however refused to put the blame on the galleries for her lackluster round.

She shot a two under par 70 and sits five shots off the clubhouse leaders England's Jodi Ewart-Shadoff and Canada's Brooke Henderson who are at seven under par.

"You just have to go with it (the crowds) and understand it is their first time and they might not know (the etiquette) and they are just out here to watch us and support us," said Ko.

The New Zealander admitted that she needed to work on her approach shots if she was going to get herself into contention on the weekend.

"If you're putting from like 60 feet out you can't automatically think that you're going to have a two putt or a one putt.

"It's probably more of a not so good second shot rather than my putts so I think overall it was really solid so lots of positives to take into tomorrow."

Ko tees off in the afternoon on Friday.