It’s hard to believe that Lydia Ko, one of New Zealand’s leading chances for the Pegasus New Zealand Women’s Open Golf Championships, is only aged 13. She’s taller than 12 months ago and now has pierced earrings (thanks to a promise from her mother if she played well last year). She’s more assured but still retains that delightful, bubbly, sense of humour of so many in this age group. But that is on the surface. Deep down there is wisdom and determination. Ko decided not to play in the Ladies Masters golf tournament in Queensland last weekend, even after posting a second in the New South Wales Open and a 12th in the Australian Open in the weeks previous. “I wanted to be fresh for playing the Pegasus New Zealand Open and did not want to be too tired which was the way I felt after the Australian Open.” After last year’s experience, Ko knows that Pegasus is not an easy course. It is new and the bounce is hard, the greens are fast, and then there is the wind, which will definitely blow at some stage over the tournament, possibly every day and possibly from more than one direction. “I just need to hang in there if it is windy and play the best I can. I am pretty consistent, so that is good for me and I did play my best round of the tournament last year when it was very windy,” she said. Having been leading amateur last year in finishing seventh equal with rounds of 71 73 71 69, Ko has moved from “curiosity” to “contender” status. Now ranked 250th in the world and our top player there is little that affects the teenager. After her final round last year her playing partner, Iben Tinning, described the almost teenager as ‘being unbelievable already” while Cecilie Lundgreen, a veteran of 11 years on the circuit, said that “it was incredible how a 12-year-old seemed to be totally unfazed by everything that was going on around her.” That’s a year ago, and going by recent results, Ko has come a long way in a short time. Not bad for a 13-year-old who has yet to have her first day at secondary school, something she is actually excited about. About PegasusPegasus is a new resort town for up to 7,000 people being built 25 kilometres north of Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest city. The town, on 420 hectares bordering the beaches of Pegasus Bay in North Canterbury, is part of the Waimakariri District.Pegasus has been designed to create a community built on a remarkable array of recreational features – a 14 hectare feature lake with 11 sandy and pebbled beaches, a filtered and temperature-controlled swimming bay, natural rock hot pools, 18-hole championship golf course and sports club, restaurants, cafés and bars, primary and pre schools, shopping districts, a superb beach with dedicated surf club, yacht club and recreation hire centre, KidZone adventure park, equestrian centre and much more.Pegasus is being developed by Infinity Investment Group Holdings Ltd, an experienced Wanaka-based property investment and development company currently carrying out $1.5 billion of development projects in the South Island.