Round with sensational Ko the ultimate present

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 13:47 29/01/2014
Lydia Ko
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LUCKY MAN: A Tauranga woman has given her golf-loving husband the ultimate present - a round of golf with Lydia Ko.

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A Tauranga woman has given her golf-loving husband the ultimate present - a round of golf with teenage sensation Lydia Ko in Christchurch tomorrow.

But it's come at a price - $7500 to be exact - after Sharlene Rowling won a Trade Me auction today, handing her husband, Jason, a spot alongside Ko in the New Zealand Women's Open pro-am tournament at Clearwater tomorrow.

An 11-handicapper at the Tauranga Golf Club, Jason is "super-excited" to be dusting off his clubs though he's a tad nervous having not played for three months. He estimates he's only played "eight or nine" rounds in the past year.

"I might have to get a few tips off Lydia, I think," he laughed.

Jason boards a plane in Tauranga at 3pm and "can't wait" to get to Chirstchurch.

He'll tee off with Ko at 1pm tomorrow and the package includes the prizegiving dinner, food and drinks on course, an event pack, a signed Ko ball, glove, shirt and pro-am team photo.

He had "no idea" what his wife was up.

"She apparently told a few people what she was doing. I couldn't believe it when she said what she'd done, I was totally blown away."

The Rowlings own a retirement village in Tauranga and Jason, 45, said he'd "have to cancel a few appointments" before he left.

And what happens to the $7.5k?

It goes to the tournament's official charity, the Dr Handa Fellowship in International Studies (University of Canterbury), which was established to enable scholarly exchange between New Zealand and Japan in Japanese studies.

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- Fairfax Media

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