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Ko tears up after winning home open

She's one of the up-and-coming stars in women's golf, has just won her national championship at the tender age of 15, and best yet she's on her way to Canberra.

Lydia Ko underlined her status as one of the genuine contenders at Royal Canberra this week with a stunning victory in the New Zealand Open at Christchurch on Sunday.

It holds her in perfect stead for the Australian Open, which starts on Thursday.

Ko made a clutch one-metre putt on the final hole to become the first Kiwi to win her home tournament and the youngest to win a Ladies European Tour event.

As the nerves left, tears of joy streamed down Ko's face as she came to terms with her third professional win from only 12 events.

"I didn't cry at the Canadian Open so I don't know why I cried here," Ko said.


"I guess it meant more. I am not the person who shows expression of feeling, but I guess the tears showed it."

Ko shot a final round four-under-par 68 to finish at 10 under, one clear of Amelia Lewis from the US, with Victorian rising star Stacey Keating a further stroke back in third.

She is making a habit of rewriting the record books, after becoming the youngest winner of a professional tournament with her victory in last year's NSW Open, aged 14.

Ko went on to take out the Canadian Open to become the youngest champion on the LPGA Tour, and was last week awarded an invitation into the first major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship, in April.

Canberra's Nikki Campbell fired a final-round 70 to finish in a share of fifth, the ideal preparation before getting back to her home course.

Campbell displayed an aggressive mindset with four birdies, but bogeys on the 11th and 16th halted her charge to contend for the title.

Fellow Australian Sarah Jane Smith tied with Campbell and Englishwoman Elizabeth Bennett.