Lydia Ko pauses during day one of the ISPS Handa Australian
Open at Royal Canberra Golf Club yesterday. (Photo by
Stefan Postles/Getty Images)
Remarkable Kiwi amateur golfer Lydia Ko peeled off a
staggering 11 birdies and an eagle as she blazed a course
record when the Australian Open began yesterday in Canberra.
The teenage sensation's firecracker 63 encouraged experienced
Kiwi professional John Lister to label Ko the best female
golfer in the world.
"This is a huge call but I think she is so far ahead of the
rest of the field," he said.
Ko (15) started with a bogey when she began her round at the
10th hole but birdied the last, the ninth, to claim the
record of 10 under in her first official round at the Royal
Canberra Golf Club course.
"After bogeying the first hole I was like 'okay what kind of
day is this going to be today?' and then I made a couple of
birdies in a row and that settled me down," she told a packed
press conference .
"I have been playing well before and then finished triple
bogey, double bogey to lose it so I didn't really think about
the score today. Tomorrow could go one of the two ways. I
could not have a great round or I could follow up. It will be
quite hard to back up today's round so hopefully I just play
Lister said he expected Ko to struggle this week after the
adrenalin and excitement of powering to victory in the NZ
But Ko maintained her form when she teed up alongside world
No1 Yani Tseng and her idol Michelle Wie.
"She is better than any woman they want to compare her with
or any field they want to put her up against," said Lister.
"Every week Lydia is there. I mean she does not have an off
"She is ranked No 30 in the world on the professional list
but she has played 12 professional events, won three of them
and come second in another two.
"I hate to predict things for anybody but this girl, we have
never seen anything like it in this part of the world
- Wynne Gray