Time on Lydia Ko's side as she pursues glory

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 15:32 08/07/2014
Lydia Ko
Getty
IN FORM: Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko has time on her side as she looks to win her first major.

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Time is still well on Lydia Ko's side as the top New Zealand golfer continues her search for a major championship breakthrough this week.

The start of the women's British Open on Thursday evening (NZT) again sees Ko chasing history, trying to become the youngest-ever winner of a women's major.

In truth though, Ko still has plenty of opportunities to fulfil the recurring preview angle and re-write the history books.

In fact, she has the rest of this season and all of next - a total of eight swipes at major championship history.

American Morgan Pressel holds the record for the youngest women's major win after she claimed the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship - aged 18 and 313 days.

Ko, meanwhile, only turned 17 less than three months ago - and unlike the men's game with four, the world's top women compete in five majors a year. Before the year is even out, Ko will have three shots at downing Pressel's record.

Following this week's Open Championship, there's also the LPGA Championship in August and the following month, the Evian Championship - where Ko was runner-up last year.

Ko is also in form heading to the revered Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, Lancashire.

Ranked second in the world, Ko has had seven top 10 finishes in her debut season as a professional and one victory, the LPGA Classic. The 17-year-old's accumulative winnings this year, so far, stand at $828, 042 (NZD$ 947,124).

However, there will be tough competition, namely, the defending champion, the world number one and the most in-form player on tour.

American Stacy Lewis won her second career major at the home of golf, the Old Course at St Andrews, last year - where Ko was tied for 42nd and crowned the tournament's low amateur champion.

Lewis has also banked three victories already this year, most recently the Arkansas Championship where she beat Ko by a single shot, and a whopping $1,881,227 (NZD$2,151,770) in LPGA Tour earnings.

Still, a repeat of last year would actually be welcome for Ko. In 2013, all eyes were set on world number one Inbee Park - only for the second-ranked player in the world, Lewis, to steal the show.

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