September 27, 2017: Home town favorite and three-time New Zealand Women’s Open champion Lydia Ko will be channeling good memories at the New Zealand Women’s Open this week, however she doesn’t believe she will enjoy any particular advantages over a strong LPGA field. Aditi Ashok will look to reverse a recent trend of mixed results with a solid outing in Auckland.
The 102nd ranked Indian is looking for some good results to ensure that she finishes her rookie season on a high. Aditi is currently lying 76th on the Race to CME Globe Finals.
A good result in Auckland will help shore up Aditi’s confidence and sign off in style in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour.
Seven major champions including 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner Danielle Kang and former world number one Yani Tseng are among the field for the first LPGA event in New Zealand, with the tournament beginning tomorrow at the new Windross Farm Golf Course in Auckland.
“To be able to play in front of a home crowd and some of my friends that have actually never watched golf before is going to be great,” said Ko after the Pro-Am today.
“It is really cool to see some familiar faces. I’m hoping a lot of kids come out with 16 and under getting free admission. Hopefully they’ll get inspired by watching us play.”
COULD THIS BE THE WEEK?
Ko has been knocking on the door of late with top-3 finishes in her last two starts. The 20-year-old has gone 29 starts since her last victory at the 2016 Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I but has twelve top-10 finishes in that span, including two runner-ups.
Should Ko break through for her 15th career LPGA victory this week, she would be become the first non-American player to win a LPGA tournament in their home country since the Republic of Korea’s Kyu Jung Baek won the 2014 LPGA KEB HanaBank Championship – Baek was not an LPGA member for that victory.
A victory would also push Ko past the $1 million mark on the year, representing the fourth consecutive season she has earned over $1 million – she has earned over $2 million in each of the last three seasons dating back to her rookie year in 2014.
LOPEZ, LLANEZA TO DONATE WINNINGS TO MEXICO RELIEF FUND
Gaby Lopez and Alejandra Llaneza will be playing for a bigger purpose this week at the New Zealand Women’s Open. The Mexican-born players will give $25 per birdie and donate their winnings for the week towards aiding the victims of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that killed 331 people and damaged more than 11,000 homes in Mexico City last week.
Symetra Tour player Margarita Ramos will be teaming up with the two players in Auckland and donating her winnings from the IOA Golf Classic and the Symetra Tour Championship, along with the same $25 birdie pledge.
LPGA Tour Release