Lydia Ko (photo: NZ Golf and
Lydia Ko (photo: NZ Golf and

Lydia Ko travelled to Christchurch last week for the first time as Rolex World No. 1 and with high expectations weighing on her young shoulders.

The general talk was not whether the 17-year-old would win the ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open at Clearwater for the second time in three years, but by how much.

Ko didn’t disappoint and the young golfing superstar thrilled record galleries, setting a course record and personal best round of 11-under 61 on Saturday before closing on Sunday with a one-under 71 to claim the crown by four shots from Australian amateur Hannah Green.

Ko became the first person to win the New Zealand title for the second time in its seven-year history and her 14-under total for the 54 holes of 202 was four shots better than the previous record which she shared jointly with Australian Lindsey Wright.

Denmark’s Nanna Koerstz Madsen finished outright third at nine-under-par, while American Beth Allen shared fourth place with Oates Vic Open winner Marianne Skarpnord. Four players shared sixth place including England’s Charley Hull.

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