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Ko triumphs at home
Last updated: 10th February 2013
New Zealand teenager Lydia Ko shot a final round 68 to secure a one-shot victory at the NZ Women's Open.
Ko, who at 15-years-old, became the youngest player to win on the Ladies European Tour when she finished the tournament on ten under par.
Earlier in the week, Ko indicated that this was the one tournament that she wanted to win the most.
Her reaction when she secured the win on Sunday would suggest as much.
Ko cried when she secured what was her third professional win in just twelve outings.
"I didn't cry at the Canadian Open so I don't know why I cried here," said Ko.
"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," she added.
"[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."
Significantly, Ko also became the first native to win the NZ Women's Open since 2009. She is also the third amateur to win on the Ladies European Tour after
"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," said the talented young golfer.
It wasn't always smooth sailing for Ko, who had to fend off challenges from Australia's Stacey Keating and Amelia Lewis.
"Where ever I was putting I saw the leaderboard. On the back nine every time I looked up I saw it and I thought please don't have the leaderboard on this side."
Ko sunk a vital fifth birdie of the day on the 15th hole to draw level with Lewis, before Keating's chances slipped away when she three-putted the final hole to drop out of contention.
Lewis, safely on the final green in two, then three-putted also as the young New Zealander watched on from the right-hand rough.
She manoeuvred her approach to within 25 feet from the hole, left her first putt an agonising three feet past the hole but calmly slotted the put amid roars from the massive gallery that encircled the final green.
"I didn't know what happened on the final hole. My caddy said you have two putts to win and I thought, oh god. I hit on in two with two shots over 300m but having a 10m putt I was more nervous."
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