Lydia Ko Wins In Taiwan

Lydia Ko

Lydia Ko has won her first event playing as a professional at the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in Taiwan.

The 16 year old Kiwi only just started playing as a professional two weeks ago after announcing her change of playing status in a video featuring All Black star Israel Dagg. And now in only her second tournament as a professional she has claimed her first paid victory.

Ko trailed the leader by one shot heading into the final round but slipped back to be three shots off the pace when making the turn into the back nine. She responded well to the challenge with birdies at holes 10 and 11 while the leader, world number five So Yeon Ryu, gave her a helping hand by dropping multiple shots coming home.

A run of steady pars in the closing stages handed Ko the victory and her first winner’s check of $US150,000 for her troubles.

Although the win is Ko’s first playing as a professional she has four other professional victories to her name, picked up while playing as an amateur.

Local fans will get their first chance to see Ko play as a professional when she tees it up in the New Zealand Women’s Open in Christchurch at the end of January.