Ko excited at upcoming US Open debut
Tue, 19 Jun 2012 2:54p.m.
Teenager Lydia Ko says she's excited at the prospect of making her golfing major debut in next month's US Open.
The 15-year-old from Auckland, the world's number one amateur, will become the first New Zealand amateur when she tees off at the tough Blackwolf Run Golf Club in Wisconsin from July 5-8.
"You know some people play as a professional their whole lives and they're unable to play the US Open so it's a big honour to be playing it," she said.
Ko became the youngest winner of a professional golf event when she won the New South Wales Open but she isn't expecting heroics at a tournament which has only been won once by an amateur in its 65-year history.
"Hopefully I'll be able to get leading amateur. That will be pretty good," she said.
"And you know, just playing my best, you don't get that many opportunities to play the US Open itself so I want to make the most of it."
Ko earned her place in the field by winning the Mark H McCormack Medal for the game's outstanding amateur in 2011.
But she says she'll need to be totally on her game to make much impression at Blackwolf Run given its 6359m length, which has forced her to practice on tees further back than she's used to.
Ko won't be the youngest player in the tournament's history, a record which was held by American Lexi Thompson who qualified as a 12-year-old in 2007.
The only professional New Zealand women to play the tournament were Lynette Brooky, whose 12th placing in 2002 was her best effort in six attempts, and Susan Farron in 1995.
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