Lydia Ko creates Ladies European Tour history with victory in New Zealand
Last Updated: February 10, 2013 8:23am
Teenage sensation Lydia Ko has become the youngest player to win a Ladies European Tour title after clinching the ISPS Handa NZ Women's Open.
The 15-year-old, who is also the youngest LPGA Tour winner after her Canadian Open victory last year, rolled in a three-foot putt at the last to snatch a one-shot win to the delight of her home fans in Christchurch.
The victory was her third in only 12 professional tournaments and, 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 2006.
"I didn't cry at the Canadian Open so I don't know why I cried here," said an emotional Ko afterwards. "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.
"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 started the final round tied for the lead with Seon Woo Bae, but the pair were soon knocked off the top of the leaderboard by Stacey Keating and Amelia Lewis.
But Ko nailed her fifth birdie of the day at the 15th to draw level with Lewis, and Keating's three-putt on the final green ended her chances.
Lewis also three-putted, but Ko held her nerve to rattle in her par putt to cap a four-under 68 for a winning score of 10 under par.