Ko claims leading amateur honours
BY New Zealand Golf | LPGA Tour | 2012 US Women's Open | Wrap | 09 Jul 2012
World No.1 Lydia Ko has finished as the leading amateur at the 67th US Open after carding a three over par 75 at Blackwolf Run in Wisconsin but the superstar teen knew it could have been much better.
The 15-year-old, who became the first Kiwi amateur to make the cut at the US Open, finished in a share of 39th place to claim the amateur honours by one shot from American Emma Talley.
But Ko walked off the championship course with a bitter taste in her mouth after dropping six shots in the final three holes, including a triple bogey at the last, to finish on a 12 over par total.
If Ko had parred her way in from the 16th she would have finished in a share of 18th place. All in all, the youngest winner in golf history was happy enough with her major debut.
“One of my goals was to become low amateur and I accomplished that,” said the Gulf Harbour golfer.
Ko will remain in the States to play in the US Amateur, where she finished as the medalist last year in qualifying, and believed that she learned a lot in her major debut.
“Well I think playing different kinds of shots and managing stress and coping with stress. It’s in pretty good condition out here and it’s hard to get these every single round you play so yeah, and those are just experiences playing with the pros.”
Ko was fast out of the blocks in the final round to be three under through nine holes after birdies on holes two, six and eight. She was on track for one of the rounds of the day.
She remained at three under through 15 holes before she made a double bogey at the 16th, bogey at the 17th and then a triple bogey at the last to finish poorly.
But it was still a remarkable performance from Ko. She will be a better player from the experience of mixing it with the best golfers in the world. She is getting more comfortable with every trip to the States to compete.
“There is definitely more competition in the States than in New Zealand,” she said.
“There are great players in New Zealand but there are many more here and yeah it’s always fun to play here but it’s always quite hard because it’s the winter season back in New Zealand.
“We’re coming straight here where it’s dry hot and humid so it’s the opposite but I guess I have to cope with that and manage that to play well.”
Ko was only the second New Zealand amateur to contest the US Open Championship after Olivia Hartley in 1999 who missed the cut with rounds of 81 and 87.
She will have a chance to better her tie for 39th place at the US Open at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Royal Liverpool from September 13 – 16. It is the first time the recipient of the Mark H McCormack Medal winner will be invited to the championship.
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