Rio Olympics 2016: Smells like team spirit for Ko

Lydia Ko watches her tee shot on the 17th hole during a practice round for the women's golf event. Photo / AP
Lydia Ko watches her tee shot on the 17th hole during a practice round for the women's golf event. Photo / AP

Like most teenagers, Lydia Ko finds it difficult to drag herself out of bed in the morning.

But the 19-year-old world No 1 bounded out of bed on Sunday eager to lend her voice to the fans cheering on Kiwi golfers Danny Lee and Ryan Fox in their final round at the Rio Olympics.

"I normally love my sleep but I slept a little less and then went out to watch them. I think I told them both 'I don't think I've ever woken up at 7am to watch someone else play'."

For someone who competes week-in week-out as a individual, being part of a bigger team is something special.

"We all took a photo together and it just felt like Team New Zealand. Just to be in the team vibe and wear the uniform is great," she said, after visiting the team in the Olympic Village.

She's not staying there however, choosing to stay closer to the course.

Ko heads into tonight's opening round at the Marapendi course as one of the favourites and as a fan of the Olympic spirit.

"I think it's great that us golfers can be amongst those amazing other athletes. That's the great thing about the Olympics - sometimes at tournaments you can get carried away about who came first in that event, but this week it celebrates every single athlete.

"I would have never imagined myself to be in this position. I always watched the Olympics but to know that there are people that are going to watch me compete in the Olympics is a great feeling and a huge honour to represent New Zealand."

The course has proved troublesome in the breeze. Ko likened it to a British Open-type set-up where players who can play creative shots are likely to be in contention.

She is in the final group to tee off overnight, playing alongside Britain's Charley Hull and Sweden's Anna Nordqvist from 2.09am.

- AAP

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