Lydia Ko’s record-breaking start to the Australian Open in Canberra today had playing partner and world No.1 Yani Tseng reaching for the superlatives as the Kiwi teen surged to the outright lead.
The 15-year-old produced another jaw-dropping performance at Royal Canberra as the world’s leading amateur carded a magnificent 10-under 63 – the lowest round of her career — to hold a one stroke advantage over Colombian Mariajo Uribe.
Buoyed by her history-making New Zealand Open triumph at Clearwater last Sunday, Ko is now on course for a fourth professional title – or at least a significant improvement on her 19th placing when the tournament was held in Melbourne last year.
Ko amassed 11 birdies to make an imposing start to the season-opening $A1.2 million LPGA co-sanctioned tournament, an assault that left Tseng awestruck.
“I feel I’m getting old,” said the 24-year-old from Taiwan, a two-time Australian Open champion.
“She just looks like a child, she still looks like 15 but, the way she’s playing golf, she looks like a pro.”
The diminutive right hander opened on the back nine with a bogey five – though that setback was far from an ominous sign.
Ko displayed no signs of anxiety despite being featuring in a marquee group alongside Tseng and former teenage prodigy Michelle Wie.