Ko takes Australian Open lead
Last updated: 14th February 2013
Teenage sensation Lydia Ko carded a round of 63 in the LPGA Tour's season-opening Women's Australian Open to finish Thursday's first round at 10 under par.
In 2012 Ko won the New South Wales Open to become the youngest player to win a pro tour event, and then became the youngest ever winner on the LPGA Tour when she triumphed at the Canadian Open later in the year.
The 15-year-old amateur then won her third title at the New Zealand Women's Open last week.
Starting her round at the 10th, the New Zealander birdied the next four holes, and then carded an eagle on the par-five 15th. Another bogey at the 16th followed, but then closed her first nine with a score of 30 after birdying the 17th and 18th. She added birdies on the second, third and fourth, but dropped another stroke on the 9th, before carding her 11th birdie of the round at the final hole 9th.
''I was in a really good group to start off with,'' said Ko, who is playing the first two rounds alongside world number one Yani Tseng and Michelle Wie.
''I was pretty nervous when I saw the draw that I was playing with two of the big names, but I mean the weather was beautiful; I think we all enjoyed our time out there.''
Due to her golfing commitments, she hasn't had much time to spend in class, but plans on rectifuing that situation shortly.
''I've got the Thailand Open next week and then the New Zealand LPGA Championship,'' the youngster added.
''After that, I will start opening books.''
On nine-under, one stroke behind Ko is Mariajo Uribe, with South Korea's Shin Jiyai on eight under par.
Japan's Ayako Uehara and another South Korean Mi Hyang Lee shot 66, while Tseng - the winner of the event in 2010 and 2011, shot a round of 68 to end the first round on five-under, alongside Sarah Jane Smith, Beatriz Recari, Kristie Smith, Angela Stanford and Katherine Hull-Kirk.
''I played very solid,'' Tseng said.
''I didn't putt as good, but I'm pretty happy I shot 5 under for first round of the year.''
The world's top player was waxing lyrical about Ko's maturity.
''She still looks 15, I don't know how she hit the ball that well. I think she pushed me up a little bit, too. ... She was on fire. She could've shot a 12 or 13 under today.''
Wie shot a disappointing 74 to end one over par.
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