14 Nov 2012 - NZPGA
World Number 1 Women’s Amateur Golfer, Lydia Ko, has confirmed that she will once again be gracing the fairways of the The Hills at the 2013 NZ PGA Championship in late February.
On the back of another record breaking year Lydia is sure to be one of the main draw-cards in the invitational amateur field for the event, where she will be one of 68 amateurs (up from 62 in 2012) to be teamed with the professionals, as part of a two-ball, best ball competition over the final two days of the tournament.
Since the 2012 NZ PGA Championship Ko has cemented her reputation as the most exciting young player in world golf with another recording breaking year, where she became the youngest ever winner of an LPGA Tour event at CN Canadian Women’s Open, was the top amateur at the British Open, and won the US Amateur Championship.
NZPGA Championship Organising Committee Chairman John Hart says Lydia once again headed the list of invitees in the amateur field and is thrilled to confirm that she will be playing again.
“Since last years tournament Lydia’s golf has taken another huge step forward and we are absolutely delighted to have her back. She’s deservedly at the top of the invite list for major tournaments all around the world, so to have her play at the NZ PGA Championship again is very exciting.
“Lydia was a major draw-card for fans last year, with some of the largest spectator galleries following her group, and we hope that even more people will take the opportunity to come out to watch her in person and to see what makes her such a special player. This will be an increasingly rare chance to see one of our top sporting talents up close as her international profile and reputation continues to grow.”
However, even with a full calendar ahead and busy year behind her (including end of year exams), it was an easy decision for Lydia to come back to Queenstown for the NZ PGA Championship.
“The NZ PGA Championship last year was an absolute blast and I had so much fun. It’s not often that you get to play alongside a Hollywood star, give golf tips to the Prime Minister, and take on the top male pros, so I was very keen to come and play in the tournament again.
“When you add in the amazing course and all the great activities that you can do in Queenstown it was an easy decision to make. Last year was my first trip to Queenstown and I loved it, the tournament was fantastic, it’s set in a beautiful place, and had a great atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to coming back.”
NZ PGA Championship organisers have already announced that Ko will be lining up alongside cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham in the amateur field. A strong professional field is already building with the 2012 Champion Michael Hendry and runner-up Mark Brown confirmed along with Japan Golf Tour stalwart and highly ranked player Brendan Jones.