Ko struggles, but shows Kiwi pride on fingernails


RIO DE JANEIRO – Unlike international men, the women’s game doesn’t have a version of the Presidents Cup, where a team from the United States plays a team that includes players from outside of Europe.

For women, this week’s Olympics and the LPGA’s UL International Crown are rare occasions to represent one’s country, and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko is making the most of the experience.

The world No. 1 arrived in Rio on Sunday in time to follow the two New Zealanders playing in last week’s men’s event, and has relished the chance to fly the Kiwi flag.

The 19-year-old even painted her thumbnails with “NZ” and the country’s signature fern for the Olympics.

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“I had it done in Orlando [Fla.] and she had to use a make-up brush, which wasn’t easy,” said Ko, who shot a second-round 70 and faded into a tie for 22nd on Day 2 at the Olympic Golf Course.

Ko was asked to pose for a picture of her nails and smiled, “I’m a thumb model for New Zealand and the fern, oh thanks.”