|Lydia Ko. — Photo turner.com|Viet Nam News
WELLINGTON — The LPGA will head to New Zealand next year for the first time, giving world number one Lydia Ko the chance to showcase her skills to a hometown crowd in Auckland.
The US$1.3 million New Zealand Women’s Open, to be held from September 28 to October 1, will kick off the LPGA’s Asia swing, with Ko ecstatic about the country securing such a high-profile tournament.
"I am so excited with this announcement to bring the LPGA to my hometown in Auckland," she said.
"I am honoured to be the first player to sign up to play. It is going to be amazing for me and my family to host my LPGA friends in my country.
"I want to see golf grow in New Zealand and more women playing the game, so this news today is fantastic."
LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan said the tour was "excited to extend our global reach" to New Zealand and the Windross Farm Golf Course.
"The New Zealand Women’s Open will be a tremendous addition to the LPGA schedule in 2017 and beyond," he said. — AFP