Ko becomes youngest winner

  • Last Updated: February 10 2013, 9:32 GMT

Fifteen-year-old Lydia Ko became the youngest player to win a Ladies European Tour event and the first home winner in the ISPS Handa NZ Women's Open in New Zealand.

Lydia Ko: Made history with tournament win

Ko made a three foot putt on the final hole to take victory in Christchurch, her third professional win in only 12 tournaments.

"I didn't cry at the Canadian Open so I don't know why I cried here," said Ko, in quotes reported on the tournament website.

"I guess it meant more. It is our national open so to win means a lot. I am not the person who shows expression of feeling but I guess the tears showed it."

Ko, a winner in New South Wales and Canada, rated her NZ Open victory as the best so far in her short but already successful career.

"[This win] is at the top. It is the national open and I came so close in the last three years. This topped it off. The New South Wales Open and the Canadian Open were obviously great wins as well."

Ko, at 15 years, eight months and 17 days, took the record from South Korean Amy Yang who was 16 years, six months and eight days when she won the NZ Ladies Masters in Australia as an amateur in 2006.

A first home winner of the NZ Open which began in 2009, Ko added: "It means a lot and makes it more special to be the first New Zealander to win the Women's Open. It is always special to make history. I guess I broke history again."

But Ko did not have it all her own way as the joint overnight leader was overtaken during the final round by Australian Stacey Keating and American Amelia Lewis.

Ko recorded a fifth birdie of the day on the 15th to draw level with Lewis and then Keating three-putted the final hole to see her chances slip away.

Lewis also three-putted and Ko was able to edge the win by a single shot, taking two putts on the 18th to secure her third LET title by one stroke on 10 under.


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