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Ko thrilled at LPGA Tour's move into NZ

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016

Lydia Ko believes a host of the world's leading players will make the trip to New Zealand to contest the newest event on the LPGA Tour.

World No.1 Ko was as thrilled as anyone when the LPGA confirmed a tournament for Auckland next year, with the intention it becomes an annual fixture.

The newly built Windross Farm Golf Course near Manurewa is the venue for the tournament starting on September 28, which will be the first PGA or LPGA event staged in New Zealand.

Ko, who was the first player to confirm her involvement at the $US1.3 million ($A1.7 million) tournament, expects most of her peers will be keen to experience something new.

"When I heard this tour was going to be official, I was excited," she said.

"I think a lot of these girls will come and visit and experience New Zealand and the culture."

"I'm very biased but I think New Zealand is the most beautiful country in the world."

New Zealand Golf chief executive Dean Murphy says the announcement finalises 18 months of negotiations which gathered momentum when a Korean sportswear company offered significant sponsorship support.

Murphy says 19-year-old Ko's global appeal was key driver for sponsors and the LPGA.

"It has been inspired by what is a once-in-a-generation superstar," he said.

Murphy says eight hours of broadcasting footage will reach more than 150 countries, which attracted Auckland local government support.

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