Lydia Ko has to settle for second at NZ Open

17:57, Feb 02 2014
Lydia Ko: Day One at Clearwater
IN ACTION: Lydia Ko on Day One at the NZ Women's Open.
Lydia Ko: Day One at Clearwater
CLOSER LOOK: Lydia Ko tests her swing.
Lydia Ko: Day One at Clearwater
CROWD APPEAL: Dozens of golf fans are at Clearwater for the NZ Women's Open.
Hyeji Lee of Korea
COMPETITOR: Hyeji Lee of Korea
Hyeji Lee of Korea
SCENIC SPOT: Hyeji Lee, of Korea, at Clearwater
Scorers at the Clearwater leaderboard
LEADERBOARD: Scorers keep a close eye on the action
Seon Woo Bae of Korea
RIVAL: Seon Woo Bae of Korea
Charley Hull of England
Charley Hull of England sends the ball flying.
Lydia Ko's final hole
NICE ONE: Lydia Ko celebrates chipping in for birdie on the last hole.
NZ Women's Golf Open
COMPETING: Caroline Martens of Norway.
Jessica Speechley of Australia
INTERNATIONAL: Jessica Speechley of Australia
NZ Women's Golf Open
REFUELLING: An official snacks on a pie while he awaits the players.
Beth Allen
A CLOSER LOOK: Beth Allen from the USA
Lydia Ko starts on day two
DAY TWO: Lydia Ko makes her start at Clearwater.
Kyu Jung Baek of Korea
SWING ACTION: Kyu Jung Baek of Korea
Lydia Ko's colourful golf cart
COLOURFUL: Lydia Ko's with her golf cart.
Women's Golf Open - Day Two
HAVING A CHAT: Stacey Keating, left, from Australia with Lydia Ko.
Anya Alvarez
RESULT: Anya Alvarez, USA, celebrates finishing her round in the lead.
Tyler Kingi
FADING LIGHT: Kiwi Tyler Kingi plays a chip shot on 9.
Lydia Ko
CAREFUL: Lydia Ko on day two at Clearwater.
Lydia Ko
CROWD-PLEASER: Thousands came to watch Lydia Ko play.
Anya Alvarez
WINNING ACTION: American Anya Alvarez on day two.
Lydia Ko frowning
NOT HAPPY: Not every shot goes perfectly for Lydia Ko.
Anya Alvarez
AIMING FOR THE TOP: American Anya Alvarez
Anya Alvarez
FROM THE SHADOWS: Crowd watches American Anya Alvarez
Christel Boeljon
DAY THREE: Christel Boeljon of the Netherlands
Lydia Ko in action
CONCENTRATION: Lydia Ko on day three at Clearwater.
Clearwater crowd day three
SPECTATOR SPORT: A huge crowd has gathered at Clearwater, six deep in some places.
Mi Hyang Lee
CHAMPION: Mi Hyang Lee from South Korea celebrates with Kyu-Jung Baek, left and Seonwoo Bae from Korea.
Mi Hyang Lee
WINNING FORM: Mi Hyang Lee from South Korea.

Korean golfer Mi Hyang Lee has upstaged Lydia Ko to win the New Zealand Women's Open with a sensational, final round of nine-under 63.

Three players, including Ko, had an opportunity to force a playoff with Lee by making a birdie on the tough par-four 18th at the Clearwater Golf Course, but all three missed.

Overnight leader Anya Alvarez and Beth Allen both missed the green and then their chips while Ko missed a crucial 20-footer.

Lydia Ko
LOW KO: Champion Kiwi golfer Lydia Ko spent yesterday morning at a Christchurch after-hours medical facility with a stomach complaint before playing on at the New Zealand Women’s Open.

A gallery of nearly 5000 around the 18th at Clearwater collectively groaned as the 16-year-old's putt fell short.

The 20-year-old Lee broke the Clearwater course record to win the event, leaping 21 places up the leaderboard with her final round fireworks to win by one.

She made seven birdies and an eagle to get from even par through 36 holes to a nine-under total.

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Ko finished second by herself after shooting a two-under 70 on the final day.

Lee had an eagle on the par-five second to jump-start her round and with two more birdies, turned at four-under.

Further birdies at 10 and 11 had her within sight of the leaders, before three more on the bounce from 14 through 16.

While Ko and Alvarez were effectively match-playing through their final round, Lee sneaked past them.

She could have extended her lead further too but missed a 12-foot putt on 18.

Allen too looked gone for all money, but rushed back into contention. She had reason to be upset too as the Clearwater gallery's etiquette interfered.

Standing on the fifth tee, Allen stopped her swing as an eager punter snapped a photo. After a polite word from Allen and a stern word from her caddy, the amateur photographer backed away only for Allen to hit her tee shot well out of bounds.

She recovered somewhat, making four with her second ball for a bogey, but those two shots proved costly.

Ko started the day two off the pace, but dropped a shot on the first.

She stayed within touch of the top throughout, but was unable to sink enough putts.

Before today Lee featured in no-one's thinking. The world No 265 was eight shots off the lead at the start of day having shot two even-par 72s in the first two rounds.

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