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Brent Kelley

Another Pro Win for 15-Year-Old Amateur Ko

By February 10, 2013

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Lydia Ko is still just 15 years old, still an amateur, but she just won her third professional golf tournament.

And No. 3 is probably the biggest for her yet, because the third was her national championship, the New Zealand Women's Open. The ISPS Handa NZ Women's Open is cosponsored by the Ladies European Tour and ALPG Tour.

Ko's first victory in a pro tour event happened at the ALPG's Bing Lee Samsung Women's NSW Open at the beginning of 2012, when Ko was 14 years old.

Her second was last year's Canadian Women's Open, a huge accomplishment. At age 15, Ko became the youngest-ever winner on the LPGA Tour.

But winning your national open? Ko became the first New Zealander to win the New Zealand Women's Open (she's also now the youngest-ever winner on the LET). And when she sank the final putt - a 3-footer that secured a 1-stroke victory - Ko let the tears flow. At the post-round news conference, she explained:
"I didn't cry at the Canadian Open so I don't know why I cried here. ... I guess it meant more. It is our national open so to win means a lot. I am not the person who shows expression of feeling but I guess the tears showed it."

Ko still has no plans to turn professional. This week she is playing in the LPGA season opener, the Australian Women's Open.

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