New Zealand golfing prodigy Lydia Ko will return to the launch pad of her stellar 2012 after confirming she will seek to repeat her history-making victory in the women’s New South Wales Open in Sydney next year.
The world’s leading female amateur has confirmed she will defend the title that generated worldwide exposure when as a 14-year-old she became the youngest winner of a professional event – both male and female – at the Oatlands Golf Club in January.
Ko then surpassed that achievement in late August by becoming the youngest winner on the LPGA Tour when claiming the Canadian Open as a 15-year-old despite the field including 49 of the world’s top 50 female players.
The North Harbour-based teenager, who has no plans to turn professional until 2014, delighted tournament organisers by again fitting the NSW Open into her busy schedule.
“I am so happy to play Oatlands again, it was a thrilling and exciting moment," she said when reflecting on her triumph earlier this year.
Ko was typically unfazed at the prospect of defending her title amid the pressures of now being considered a future superstar.
“I feel pressure in every tournament like the other players, but (I) try to take the positive aspects or sometimes forget that I'm playing a professional event. All the tournaments are the same to me,'' she said.