Halberg top moments: Ko's major milestone

By Guy Heveldt

18 years, four months and 20 days was the history-making age for Lydia Ko.

A 15-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole put an exclamation mark on the dominant six-shot win at the Evian Championship in France in September and made the Kiwi golfing superstar the youngest major winner in the history of the women's game.

It was a matter of when, not if, for Ko, who already had eight LPGA Tour and 12 overall professional wins to her name when she got the major monkey off her back.

It would seem mind boggling in most sporting situations and careers to be waiting for a teenager to win a sport's ultimate prize, but in Ko's situation it was inevitable. To back that up, relief seemed to be the over-riding emotion after completing the immaculate eight-under par 63 final round when she commented, ""Everyone won't be asking me when I'll win my first major because it's done."

Ko actually made the turn in the final round one shot behind American Lexi Thompson, who already had a major victory to her name. But, with three birdies in four holes, the Kiwi had grabbed the lead at the 13th tee and seemingly had an unflappable aura of confidence about her game.

As if on cue, Thompson then triple-bogeyed the 14th hole, leaving Ko with a three-shot buffer and one she only continued to build in a domination similar to that of Tiger Woods in his prime.

The victory put her alongside legend Sir Bob Charles, at the Open Championship in 1963, and Michael Campbell, who shocked the golfing world to win the US Open in 2005, as the only other Kiwis to win a major.

But, this was arguably the most special for golf in New Zealand. The first major victory of what many are expecting to be a record-breaking haul.

Kiwi sports fans can vote for their choice by text message (once per day) or online at www.sportingmoment.co.nz.

How to vote:


Voting is now open for the Radio Sport Sporting Moment award. You can vote once a day from now until 9.00pm on Thursday 18 February 2016.

1. Online
Vote at www.sportingmoment.co.nz

2. TXT
Text your Radio Sport Sporting Moment's unique code to 818:
1. Txt Sm1 to 818 to vote for SKYCITY Breakers
2. Txt Sm2 to 818 to vote for Grant Elliott
3. Txt Sm3 to 818 to vote for Kiwis
4. Txt Sm4 to 818 to vote for The Highlanders
5. Txt Sm5 to 818 to vote for Vodafone Warriors
6. Txt Sm6 to 818 to vote for Richie McCaw
7. Txt Sm7 to 818 to vote for Lydia Ko
8. Txt Sm8 to 818 to vote for All Blacks
9. Txt Sm9 to 818 to vote for Ross Taylor
10. Txt Sm10 to 818 to vote for Football Ferns
Standard text fees apply on all text votes.

Everyone who votes in the Radio Sport Sporting Moment Award before midnight on the 9 February, 2016 goes in the draw to win a trip for two including flights and accommodation to the 53rd Halberg Awards at Vector Arena, Auckland on Thursday 18 February 2016. Visit www.sportingmoment.co.nz to read the competition terms & conditions.

- NZ Herald

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