To Ko's delight, LPGA taking over NZWO


NAPLES, Fla. – Lydia Ko will get to tee it up at an LPGA event in her backyard next year.

The LPGA announced Wednesday that it’s taking over the New Zealand Women’s Open with McKayson as the new title sponsor. It will be played in Auckland, the city where Ko grew up, as the leadoff event in the fall Asian Swing. It’s scheduled for Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at Windross Farm Golf Course with a $1.3 million purse.

“I am always saying New Zealand - I'm sorry, I'm very by biased – is the most beautiful country in the world,” said Ko, the Rolex world No. 1. “I hope a lot these girls and top players come and visit, and not only play at such a great golf course, but to experience New Zealand and the culture. I'm very excited about that.”

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Ko is a three-time winner of her national open, claiming her first as a 15-year-old amateur.

McKayson is a Korean golf clothing brand.

The New Zealand Women’s Open has been co-sanctioned as a Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf event since Ko began playing. It will be played solely as an LPGA event next year.