SOUTH-west golf export Stacey Keating yesterday fell agonisingly short in her bid to win the New Zealand Open in Christchurch.
Keating, who started the final round three shots of the pace, carded a five-under par 67 to finish third.
The Cressy-raised Keating stood on the 18th tee needing to birdie the hole to join then leaders amateur Lydia Ko and American Amelia Lewis at 10-under.
But Keating bogeyed the last to eight-under for the tournament. It was her only blemish yesterday in an otherwise impressive round. Ko claimed victory by a shot from Lewis, who also bogeyed the last.
Fifteen-year-old Ko showed nerves of steel to battle back after first Keating, who shot seven-under for the day, and later Lewis caught and then overtook her during the final round.
But the nerves wore down after the final hole, when Ko was surprisingly ambushed after the winning putt by some unexpected tears.
“I have no idea why I cried here — I guess it meant more,” she said afterwards.
Australian pair Nikki Campbell and Sarah Jane Smith finished with a share of fifth spot at six-under.