North Shore Times : February 8th 2013
www.northshoretimes.co.nz 7 NORTH SHORE TIMES, FEBRUARY 8, 2013 SPORT $69.90 20%OFF $18.90 World champs: Catch Northcote softball star Brad Rona in action for the Black Sox next month. Tickets to champs offered The North Shore Times has 25 double passes to the Tradestaff ISF 2013 Men's World Softball Championships at Rosedale Park in Albany from March 1 to 10 to give away. To go in the draw email nstcompetitions@ snl.co.nz with your name, address and daytime contact telephone number with ''softball'' in the subject line. The competition closes on February 15. Ko carries Kiwi hopes at Open Young achiever: Golfer Lydia Ko, 15, could become the first New Zealander to win the New Zealand Women's Open. Photo: GRAHAME COX There is no doubt that Lydia Ko will be the most talked about player at Clearwater Golf Club this weekend. The world No 1 amateur, who is world No 38 on the pro rankings after only playing 11 professional events, will be the leading New Zealand hope in a world-class field at the New Zealand Women's Open in Christchurch. The Pinehurst School student, who finished runner-up in her title defence of the NSW Open by two shots to Caroline Hed- wall, missed the Australian Masters to be fresh and ready for this week. The 15-year-old knows that she is going to play this week with a weight of local expectation on her perform- ance. I feel a bit of pressure because I know people are expecting a lot more from me,'' the youngest winner in professional golf history says. But I have to block it out and concentrate on my game and my game only. It will be quite hard backing up what I achieved in 2012 as it was a great year for me. It's a whole new year and I am going to try and start fresh.'' The open has attracted a world-class field including three of the previous four champions and is said to the strongest field ever. Also playing in the cham- pionship which starts today are former major champions Anna Nordqvist and Sophie Gustafson both of Sweden. World No 16 Angela Stan- ford and Cheyenne Woods, the niece of Tiger Woods, are other notable players in a field that will include 32 LPGA Tour players. It is very exciting. Having a greater field makes me more excited to play. I can't wait,'' Ko says. She is excited by the pros- pect of becoming the first Kiwi to win the open. It would mean a lot. It's making history within New Zealand and I would be so proud of myself.'' Ko's 2012 record breaking year: 1st -- Canadian Open, LPGA Tour (first New Zealander and youngest in history) 1st -- NSW Open, ALPG and LET Tour (youngest winner in pro history) 1st -- Australian Amateur (youngest winner) 1st -- US Amateur (first New Zealander to win the event) Tied 39th -- US Open on her major debut (leading amateur) Tied 17th -- British Open (leading amateur) 1st individual at the World Amateur Team Championship -- (world record in the event that dates back to 1964 and first NZ woman to achieve this). WHAT THE PROS HAVE TO SAY Laura Davies -- 2010 NZ Women's Open champion, winner of 82 titles world- wide: It is incredible and I don't think there will be another golfer like Lydia. What she achieved last year was just phenomenal. Golfers just don't do that when they are 15. She has the ability to go on and be one of the greats of the game. Her win at the Canadian Open last year and also the NSW Open were just incred- ible performances. I can still remember her in 2010 when she finished leading amateur at the age of 12. Normally these young sensations come and go but Lydia hasn't, she has just got better and bet- ter. She is not disappearing at all.'' Lindsey Wright -- 2012 NZ Women's Open cham- pion: She is just awesome. I mean you can't put into words what she has achieved in 2012. It was just phenom- enal.ImeanIam33andI haven't achieved half of what she has achieved already. Her composure at such a young age is what is most impressive. She doesn't get fazed. When I played with her I thought she was 22 -- 23. Her ability and perfor- mances are a credit to her and also a credit to New Zea- land Golf. She has the ability to surpass anyone who has played the game and I think she should have her sights set on the World Golf Hall of Fame.'' Cathryn Bristow -- NZ golfer on the Ladies Euro- pean Tour: Lydia had an amazing year in 2012 and I hope she can continue that form this year and for many years to come. She certainly has had a great start, almost defending her title at the NSW Open. She has brought a huge amount of worldwide exposure to golf and particu- larly women's golf in New Zealand through her success and it's fantastic to see.'' Kristie Smith -- 2011 NZ Women's Open champion: What can you say about Lydia? She is just incredible. I have never seen anyone with her composure at such a young age. I mean what she did at the Canadian Open was an unbelievable performance. She has it all ahead of her and she needs to pace herself and not try to do too much. She has the potential to be of the best golfers in the game. New Zealand is lucky to have a golfer of her ability and she is just as nice and friendly to talk to off the course as she is talented on it.''
February 7th 2013
February 12th 2013