Golf: Lee upstages Ko to win NZ title

By Daniel Richardson in Christchurch

Lydia Ko with a drive during the final round of the New Zealand Open. Photo / Getty Images
Lydia Ko with a drive during the final round of the New Zealand Open. Photo / Getty Images

A course-record nine-under 63 from Korean Mi Hyang Lee has seen her surge from nowhere in the final round to claim the New Zealand Women's Open title at Clearwater today.

Starting the day at even par after a pair of 72s to begin the tournament, Lee was unstoppable at the Christchurch course as she climbed up the leaderboard with a birdie-filled round.

It bet the previous mark of 64, set by fellow Korean Seon Woo Bae last year, and rocketed her to nine-under for the tournament as she claimed a one-stroke victory from defending champion Lydia Ko.

Ko, who had a massive crowd following her throughout her final round, signed for a two-under 70 today as she tried to become the first person to win the tournament back to back.

Overnight leader Anya Alvarez faded slightly in the final round as she delivered a three-over 73, as she eventually finished in a share of third at seven under, alongside Beth Allen and Bae, who was consistent throughout the tournament.

Ko couldn't get her putter going today as she left numerous birdie chances out on the course.

She nailed one at 17 and could have forced a playoff but her putt at the 18th hole just missed as Lee took the title.

- APNZ

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