Altvater: 15-year-old Ko leads ISPS Handa Australian Women’s OpenWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
The ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open is being held at the Royal Canberra Golf Club in Canberra, New South Wales, Australia. It is the first event of the 2013 LPGA schedule.
Teen sensation Lydia Ko is continuing her stellar play from last year and is the leader after the first round. She made three bogeys in her round, but 11 birdies and an eagle on the par-5 No. 15 added up to a 10-under par 63 and a one-shot lead.
Fifteen-year-old Ko became the youngest winner ever on the Ladies European Tour (LET) last week when she won the New Zealand Women’s Open.
She is a native of New Zealand and won the 2012 Canadian Women’s Open on the LPGA Tour.
She is the No. 1 ranked women’s amateur golfer in the world. In 2012 she won the Australian Women’s Amateur Golf Championship, the U.S. Women’s Amateur and the World Women’s Amateur Golf Championship.
Ko first made headlines in January 2012 when she won the Bing Lee Samsung Women’s NSW Open on the Asian Ladies Tour (ALT) while still 14.
She is still a high school student and plans to attend college before turning professional.
Technically Ko will not be eligible to join the LPGA for three more years.
Contrast the career that Ko has had at such a young age to Michelle Wie, who chased the money while never really winning.
Ko is winning and is not worrying about the size of the purse.
World No. 1 Yani Tseng is five shots behind the leader at five-under par. Toledo-born Stacy Lewis, the 2012 LPGA Tour Player of the Year, shot a four-under par 69.
It is only the first round and there are 54 holes left to play, but Lydia Ko is carving out quite a reputation among the golfing elite.