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South Korean Mi Hyang Lee fired a course record nine-under-par 63 to spoil the Lydia Ko party in the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch.
The LPGA based player, carded a flawless final round which include an eagle and seven birdies at the Clearwater Golf Club to finish at nine-under-par and win by one shot over defending champion, Ko.
Lee, who was out 1 hour and 20 mins before the last group had an agonising wait to see if the players still out on the course could catch her. With one to play, Ko, overnight leader Anya Alvarez and American Beth Allen were just one shot behind, and could force a playoff if any of them birdied the last. Unfortunately Allen and Alvarez both missed the green in regulation and played aggressive pitch shots trying to force a playoff, they both walked off with bogey after missing their par putts. Ko had a 20 foot birdie chance but it slipped by, so the title was Lee’s.
Queenslanders Bree Arthur (66) and Sarah Jane Smith (65) were the leading Australians finishing at five-under-par total and tied for sixth position. Nikki Campbell (68) was a further shot back and tied for 9th.