Emotional Lydia Ko to donate winnings

2016 02 Getty Images 510121450
• Lydia Ko wins third NZ Women's Open title in four years
• Victory is the 18-year-old's 15th as a professional
• Scotland's Pamela Pretswell forced to withdraw with injury


Lydia Ko has said she will donate her winnings from the New Zealand Women's Open to charity after a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck just moments before she was about to start her final round.

Just 11 minutes before Ko and playing partner Justine Dreher of France were due to tee off, an earthquake struck 10km from the course and had both locals and international visitors in a panic for the 30 seconds or so it lasted, with a further 52 further aftershocks throughout the rest of the day.

"I have discussed this with my family and my team and this is something that we all want to do," Ko said after winning the tournament for a third time in four years, receiving a cheque for €30,000. "We will seriously think about the best way that we can use this money to help New Zealand."

The 18-year-old Kiwi saw off the challenge of Felicity Johnson, Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Hye Jin Choi to win by two shots at Clearwater Golf Club – with Scotland’s Pamela Pretswell forced to retire due to a back injury after starting the final round just two shot behind Ko.

How Ko won it

Ko was challenged on several occasions during the final round, most notably from American Amelia Lewis, who came to grief over the tough closing three holes, and Dane Emily Kristine Pedersen, who eagled the second hole but also faltered down the stretch.

While all this was going on, Ko kept things consistent and wrapped up her 15th professional win with this short putt at the last.

What they said

Lydia Ko: “It was lucky I wasn't out there playing because I wouldn't want to be in the middle of my swing and the ball moves somewhere else.

“It's been a long week, a lot of emotion and a lot of people to share this amazing victory with. Especially given how much New Zealand golf has been a support to me and my career."

Pamela Pretswell: “So disappointed that I had to withdraw today in the last round. I hurt my back on the range this morning, managed to get some physio before heading out, but only managed six holes before having to retire. The pain in my back was too much to keep playing.”

On social

Final leaderboard

1 Lydia Ko (69, 67, 70) -10
T2 Felicity Johnson (70, 71, 67) -8
T2 Nanna Koerstz Madsen (70, 68, 70) -8
T2 Hye Jin Choi (71, 68, 69) -8
5 Justine Dreher (67, 70, 72) -7

Selected others:

T10 Gemma Dryburgh (73, 70, 69) -4
T37 Heather Macrae (75, 71, 70) E
T50 Kelsey Macdonald (73, 73, 73) +3

Lydia Ko :: Continued domination

What do you think of Lydia Ko’s achievements as she racked up her 15th professional win? Reminder: she’s still only 18! Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.

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