One Australian newspaper is lamenting the fact that Kiwi teen golf sensation Lydia Ko could have been claimed as one of their own.

As they have done so many times in the past, with Phar Lap, Crowded House, Pavlova, Russell Crowe and Lorde, our neighbours across the ditch went searching for a reason to claim the 17-year-old prodigy as an Aussie.

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Reflecting on Ko's $1.9 million CME Group Tour championship victory in Florida yesterday, the Sydney Morning Herald lamented the fact her family very nearly settled in Australia and proudly boasted of the fact her love of golf began when she first visited Sydney on holiday as a five-year-old.

After likening her achievements to those of Tiger Woods, the story makes the point that "if Ko's mother had liked Australia, she (Ko) would have been an Australian."


The story goes on to quote Ko's mother, Tina Hyon, as she explained how the family first intended on moving from South Korea to Canada, but changed their mind firstly to Australia, before deciding to settle in New Zealand in 1997.

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"We'd actually intended to move to Canada, but I then changed my mind," her mother, Tina Hyon, said last year, recalling how Ko began her love affair with the game after first picking up a golf club on a holiday in Sydney.

"I actually changed my mind to Australia. But [she laughs] we didn't like it there and looked at New Zealand."

After moving to Auckland's North Shore, Ko began playing golf as a five-year-old when her mother took her into the Pupuke Golf Club pro shop.

Ko went on to remind Australians of her rising status in the golf world when she became the youngest person to win a professional tour event - the New South Wales Open as a 14-year-old amateur.

Since that day they have been left to contemplate what might have been.