Teenage sensation Lydia Ko will be looking for back-to-back titles when she play gets underway tomorrow in the seventh staging of the Bing Lee Samsung Women’s NSW Open at Oatlands Golf Club in Sydney.
The 15-year-old created history 12 months ago when she fired a final round of three-under par 69 to finish four shots ahead of the field and become the youngest player, male or female, to win a professional tournament on a major tour.
The Kiwi has fond memories of her win, "It was a great feeling to win this event last year but it was more of a shock than anything."
Ko has enjoyed great success at the event, finishing runner-up to Swede Caroline Hedwall in 2011 and then winning in 2012. The layout at Oatlands suits the young player’s eye.
"It just suits my game really well. It's a very welcoming course. I really enjoy playing there."
The Kiwi will have to produce her best form with 2011 champion, Hedwall is back where she won her first professional event. The Solheim Cup star has been playing the ALPG Club Car Series and won the last event, the Mount Broughton Classic presented by McGill Transport, by firing impressive rounds of 67 and 65.
2008 Women’s NSW Open champion, England’s Laura Davies, will be looking to start her year off with her 84th title. While the French pair of Gwladys Nocera and Joanna Klatten, Wales’ Becky Morgan, England’s Felicity Johnson and Canadian Lorie Kane are other international players to watch.
Leading the Australian charge will be Stacey Keating. The Victorian, who won twice on the Ladies European Tour in 2012, is also coming in with some form on the board, after she took out The Vintage Golf Club Pro-am just over a week and a half ago.
New South Wales’ trio of Frances Bondad, Sarah Kemp and Nikki Garrett are players to watch as well. Recently turned professional Whitney Hillier has gotten off her career off on the right foot with some impressive results.
Recently crowned Australian amateur champion Min Jee Lee will be leading the Australian amateurs in the field.