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18-year-old defending champion shines on home soil

World number one Lydia Ko won her third ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open in impressive style at Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch.

Ko held the overnight lead by one shot from French rookie Justine Dreher but those who thought that the day would be a procession for the 18-year-old defending champion hadn’t counted on several challenges coming, the first by talented American Amelia Lewis who had finished second to Ko here in 2013, when she became the Ladies European Tour’s youngest winner in history as a 15-year-old.

There was also a strong showing from the Rookies with Frenchwoman Justine Dreher in fifth spot, Noemi Jimenez Martin of Spain tied eighth and Olivia Cowan of Germany tied for 10th with Gemma Dryburgh from Scotland, who made a spectacular LET debut.

As was the case in 2015, Lydia Ko had the chance to share her victory with the huge galleries who had come out to watch her play. 

Ko dedicated the win to her good friend and mentor former New Zealand Golf President Patsy Hankin who had passed away suddenly last year. 


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