Golf: Ko to defend NZ Open title

Lydia Ko will defend her New Zealand Women's Open title at the Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch. Photo / Getty Images.
Lydia Ko will defend her New Zealand Women's Open title at the Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch. Photo / Getty Images.

Lydia Ko will defend her New Zealand Women's Open title at the Clearwater Golf Club in Christchurch being played as a three round tournament from January 31 to February 2.

Ko, who won the title by one shot this year to become the youngest winner in the history of the Ladies European Tour aged only 15, has confirmed she will return in 2014.

"I will definitely play the New Zealand Open next year at Clearwater,'' the 16-year-old said. "It is the national open and I have great memories from my win there this year. I will be back there for sure. Winning the New Zealand Open meant so much to me and I will try to defend there as well.''

It is expected that the world No 5 will face a strong field for the fifth staging of the championship.

It is a co-sanctioned event on the Ladies European Tour and the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour and holds the largest purse (200,000 or NZ$334,000) for a women's sporting event in New Zealand. It will also be the first official fixture on the women's World Tour.

- APNZ

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