Ko Early Leader at Women's Amateur

Top player in the world continues Women's Amateur stroke-play success


Lydia Ko, ranked atop the Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking, shot a 66 for the second consecutive year at the U.S. Women's Amateur. (Steve Gibbons/USGA)
By Rhonda Glenn
August 6, 2012

Cleveland – World No. 1 Lydia Ko, 15, of New Zealand, shot a round of 6-under-par 66 on Monday to lead halfway through the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at The Country Club.

With half of the 156-player field still on the course, Ko made six birdies and no bogeys on the 6,512-yard, par-72 William Flynn-designed layout. Alison Lee, 17, of Valencia, Calif., was in second place among morning finishers with a 4-under-par 68. Brooke Mackenzie Henderson, 14, of Canada, was three strokes back after a 69.

Ko, a Korean-born New Zealander who was co-medalist at the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur and low amateur at last month's U.S. Women's Open, is among the more well-known players in the field. Earlier this year, at the age of 14, she became the youngest person to win a professional golf tournament when she captured the New South Wales Open on the Asian Ladies Professional Golf tour. With the win she eclipsed Ryo Ishikawa, who was 15 when he won a professional tournament.

Starting play on the inward nine, Ko hit a 7-iron to within a foot of the hole on the par-3 11th. On the 12th, she hit a wedge from the rough to within a foot and made both putts for birdies.

“Two tap-in birdies were nice,” Ko said. “I didn’t have to think about the line.”

After a birdie from 9 feet on the 13th, her tee shot at the 17th landed in a divot some 90 yards from the green. A wedge shot out of the divot left her with a 10-footer for birdie, which she made. Turning to the outward nine, Ko narrowly missed a 6-foot eagle putt on the second hole, but settled for a birdie. At the seventh, she made her final birdie of the day on a putt of nearly 30 feet.

Ko's 66 is the second-lowest qualifying score recorded in this event. She also shot a 66 in qualifying last year at Rhode Island Country Club, where she fell in the second round of match play to 2010 USA Curtis Cup participant Stephanie Kono.

Lee was pleased with her 68. In late July she suffered a heart-breaking 1-down loss in the U.S. Girls’ Junior 36-hole match-play final to Australia's Minjee Lee after she was 3 up with six holes to play. Coming off a third-place showing last week at the PGA Junior Championship at Sycamore Hills G.C. in Fort Wayne, Ind., Lee is playing in her fourth competitive event in a row. After the Girls' Junior, she flew to Orlando, Fla., for the American Junior Golf Association's Wyndham Cup, a three-day Ryder-Cup style competition.

“I’ve been playing really well,” Lee said. “I’ve been doing my best not to grind. Just rest, keep my energy up. I played really freely today.”

Lee began the day with an eagle-2 on the 314-yard third hole when she holed a wedge shot from 70 yards. She followed with three birdies, including a 2-putt birdie from 50 feet on the par-5 16th hole.

Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. Email her at rglenn@usga.org.

 

THE RULES OF GOLF APP
Get The Rules of Golf App For Your iPhone Or Android Today
Follow the USGA
Become a Facebook Fan of the USGAFollow us on Twitter @USGA
World Amateur Golf Ranking
WAGR Counting Event
Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.


Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image