Ko is victorious at Kiwi tournament

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Ko is victorious at Kiwi tournament

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - Top-ranked amateur Lydia Ko captured her third professional win Sunday when she took out her home championship, the 54-hole New Zealand Women’s Golf Open, by one stroke.

In an outstanding 13-month spell, the world’s No. 1 amateur has won the New South Wales Open to become the youngest player, male or female, to win a professional event, the Canadian Open to become the youngest-ever winner on the LPGA Tour, and now the sentimental satisfaction of a professional victory at home.

“It was a pretty good day out there and I’m pretty excited to have my name on this trophy,” she said. “I didn’t cry at the Canadian Open so I’ve got no idea why I cried here, I guess it meant more.

“It’s our national open, so to win it means a lot. I’m not the sort of person who shows expression or feelings that much, but I guess I did here.”

The 15-year-old Korea-born New Zealander approached the last hole in a tie for the lead at 10-under par with American Amelia Lewis. But Lewis, in the penultimate group, three-putted from 25 feet for bogey and Ko, playing in the last group, made par to complete a final round 68.

Ko became the first New Zealander to win the tournament which she first played at aged12, finishing in a tie for seventh.

Ko had rounds of 70, 68 and 68 for a three-round total of 206 at Clearwater Golf Club. Lewis shot 73, 68 and finished with a 6-under 66 for a 207 aggregate in the tournament, which is co-sanctioned by the European and Australasian women’s tours.

Stacey Keating of Australia was a further shot back in third place at 8-under, while Bae Seon-woo of Korea, the joint overnight leader with Ko, shot a last-round 71 to finish in fourth place. AP

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