Rolex World No.1 Lydia Ko arrived home in New Zealand in the early hours of Monday morning after capturing her first ISPS Handa Women’s Australia Open.
Ko is bypassing the LPGA in Thailand this week to play in front her home crowd in the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch. In her packed media conference today the teenage superstar talked about why she loves playing in her National Open.
“I have so much fun playing the New Zealand Open. This is my 6th time playing here and every time I’ve had a great experience. To know that I’m 17 and this is my sixth is pretty cool. I’ve got so many great memories here at Clearwater and last year so many people came out to watch me play. It’s not a LPGA event but there’s still world-class players playing here.”
Ko was also thrilled to be still in the No.1 position this week, “It is really awesome to be in that position now and it is great to share this number one ranking with all the people in New Zealand.”
Inspiring young kids is the one the best things she finds with her World No.1 position,
“The coolest part of being in that position is that somewhere you go there are juniors walking and they say you’re my favourite player or your my role model. That’s the best thing for I’m still under 18 and still a junior. For another girl or boy to say you’re my role model kind of makes me feel special and like I need to work harder so I really become that role model they look up to. I think just to be able to inspire is the coolest thing.”
Ko will be vying for her second NZ Open title this week at Clearwater. She knows how tough the Clearwater Golf Course can play and thinks around 10-under-par is likely to be a good number to aim for.
Her main challenges will come from fellow teenagers RACV Ladies Masters Champion Su Oh and England’s young gun Charley Hull. The trio will be paired together for the first two rounds.
Other notables in the field are former champions Laura Davies and Gwladys Nocera.