Lydia Ko top individual at teams championship
New Zealand slipped to finish fifth but there was a silver lining in the form of another accolade for outstanding teenage golfer Lydia Ko, who coasted to individual honours at the women's world amateur team championship in Turkey today.
The New Zealand trio of Ko, Emily Perry and Munchin Keh entered the final round of the Espirito Santo Trophy in second place, five shots behind defending champions South Korea, but Perry and Keh could not keep up with Ko or the charging teams around them.
Ko fired a four-under 68 today but the Kiwis' team total was only two-under.
Keh provided the other counting score, with a two-over 74, while Perry was forced to discard her four-over 76.
It left New Zealand at eight-under for the tournament, five shots behind winners Korea. Germany and Finland claimed second and third, respectively, after both teams went seven-under today, while Australia also overtook the New Zealanders with a four-under 140 and Spain climbed into a tie for fifth at the 53-nation tournament after also shooting four-under.
Ko was outstanding again this week, the 15-year-old finishing her overseas campaign in familiar fashion - on top of the individual leaderboard.
She had rounds of 70, 69, 67, 68 for a four-round total of 14-under 274, a whopping eight shots ahead of second-placed Krista Bakker of Finland and Spain's Camilla Hedberg.
The world's top-ranked amateur has been in a class of her own this year with victories at the Australian and US Amateurs and a history-making win on the LPGA Tour, at the Canadian Open. So it was fitting she was able to cap the year with another title before she swaps the clubs for the books and catches up on schoolwork ahead of end-of-year exams.
Unfortunately for the Kiwi team, Ko was a one-woman show at the Gloria Golf Club.
She needed Perry and Keh for support but their contributions, while generally solid, weren't enough to bring the major spoils home for the first time when other contenders had two low scores to rely on.
Perry finished in a share of 56th at nine-over par, while Keh was tied for 118th at 26-over par, though she bounced back well from her first round 93 to play the last three rounds in five-over.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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