It was a moment that summed up Lydia Ko's brilliance. The
most famous 15-year-old in New Zealand hit her eagle putt from
the fringe of the 14th green on at the Clearwater Golf Club and
The 12m putt down and across the slope with the perfect pace,
hitting the flag and finding the bottom of the cup to be met
by raucous applause from the biggest gallery on course.
The eagle catapulted the World No 1 amateur into the
tournament lead and was the defining moment of today's second
round at the New Zealand Women's Open in Christchurch.
"It was a turning point for me," said Ko, the only Kiwi to
make the two-round cut. "I wanted a couple of birdies before
that but they just didn't go in the hole. But then that 12m
putt, it just drained in and it kind of made up for today."
From there Ko never looked back. The teenager will begin
tomorrow's final round on six under and in a share of the
lead with Korean Seon Woo Bae, who climbed 33 places with a
remarkable eight under par 64 that broke the course record.
Italian Giulia Sergas (68) climbed to third and overnight
leader Australian Nikki Campbell (71) dropped to fourth
Ko, who began today on the 10th tee in a share of fourth
place, followed up her eagle with birdie on the 16th then
added another on the second to get to six under for the
The only display of any weakness was when she flubbed a chip
on the fifth, but she made a 15 foot save for par in
"I was happy with that save. I got a really bad lie with the
chip and I didn't know where that ball was going to go. I
wasn't that happy about that hole even though I made the
The birdies continued on the following hole before she
dropped her first shot of the day with a three-putt bogey on
"[It] wasn't because I hit it badly - it was a short putt
mistake so it is not something serious. I am hitting the ball
"I am pretty happy. I had a struggle the last three holes but
I made par on the last two so that was OK. I don't think that
there was something huge to complain about and I made an
eagle so it was pretty good."
She parred her way in to head into tomorrow with a golden
chance of becoming the first Kiwi to win the event. With that
possibility in the forefront of her mind, Ko knows there will
be nerves standing on the first tee in the final group.
"[The nerves] will be there tomorrow but I just have to
control my nerves and that is what happens every time. I have
been playing pretty good so hopefully I can play like I have
the last two days. It was nice to see a lot of me out there
today. I definitely felt their support."