Lydia Ko's hopes of securing her first tour victory since July 2016 dissolved in the squalls battering Windross Farm, but she gave the New Zealand Women's Open credibility as the tournament establishes itself on the LPGA circuit.

Ko weaved her way through swarms of fans all week but never came within touching distance of the lead.

She was five shots back after the first day, a figure which extended to eight, seven and finally 12 as each round unfolded.

Yet Ko deserves credit. When Auckland's two coasts conspired to create a natural wind tunnel, she channeled serenity by signing autographs and submitting to selfies at will.


The rows of cars packing Ardmore Airport's back-up runway provided evidence that the premise of Ko "hosting a tournament in her backyard" had been well-received.

Perhaps a final round three-over-par 75 in formidable links conditions indicated she had been pushed to the point of exhaustion.

Ko suffered a double bogey on the 17th and a triple bogey on the 18th, despite the gallery's best efforts to will her on.

She finished tied for 22nd at five-under for the tournament but insisted the postponement of the final round did not detract from the event.

"There were so many who had played more than half their holes yesterday. It made sense to continue to Monday. The top of the leaderboard could change [and did] so much with the wind.

"We just have to go with it. [The LPGA] is trying to do the best for us and that's the priority. Even though some players missed or changed flights, I'm sure they're happy to finish the championship.

"We cannot control the weather. Everybody involved wanted it to be as fair as possible for the field. You just have to go for it. It was tough waking at 5.30am and not playing the full round [yesterday] but you have to do it.

Ko said it had been a "pretty surreal" time.

"This week has been successful and hopefully a lot of players will come again and it becomes a cool spot for the girls.

"The fans were the biggest highlight for me. It's always fun to play the national open in front of big crowds. To have their support when I don't come home very often gave me goosebumps, and made me proud of this event on the LPGA tour."