|NZ amateur Lydia Ko|
World No.1 amateur Lydia Ko leads the amateur charge at this week’s ISPS Handa New Zealand Women’s Open hosted by Christchurch.
There are a total of nine amateurs playing at Clearwater this week from February 8 – 10 through various points of the qualification criteria.
Ko, Wellington No.1 Julianne Alvarez, Auckland sisters Munchin Keh and Wenyung Keh and Sarah Bradley all qualified as the top five places from the Order of Merit from 2012.
Kate Chadwick, from the Napier Golf Club, secured her place when she defeated Te Rongopai Clay in the NZ Maori Championship at the Taupo Golf Club.
Two Australian amateurs were offered places in the field by New Zealand Golf. They are Minjee Lee, who won the Australian Amateur, and Su-Hyun Oh, who finished in a share of second place at last week’s Volvik RACV Ladies Masters.
The last amateur to book her place in the 144 strong field is Otago rep Laura Hoskin. The Arrowtown golfer was the only amateur to advance from the Final Qualifying Event at the Christchurch Golf Club.
An amateur has never won the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open with Ko coming the closest in 2011 when she finished in a share of fourth place.