Ko, 16, signs with IMG Worldwide for management

Lydia Ko made her professional debut Thursday at the CME Group Titleholders at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla.

Lydia Ko made her professional debut Thursday at the CME Group Titleholders at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla.

Days removed from her fifth professional victory, Lydia Ko has signed with IMG Worldwide for management. Ko, 16, turned professional in October and won the Swinging Skirts Ladies Masters in Taiwan on Dec. 8.

“I am excited to work with my new team at IMG as I embark on my professional career,” Ko said in a statement. “My family and I spoke with many candidates, and IMG emerged as the clear choice to represent me, in large part because of their global reach. I am comfortable knowing that IMG will commit the appropriate resources to help my career excel while I focus on golf.”

Ko joins an IMG stable that includes fellow LPGA players Paula Creamer, Jessica Korda, Beatriz Recari, Michelle Wie and newly minted LPGA player Jaye Marie Green, who won LPGA Q-School on Dec. 8.

Ko’s previous four victories came as an amateur, and included the 2012 Women’s New South Wales Open on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour. That victory made her the youngest tournament winner in golf history (at that time). In addition to those victories, Ko was low amateur at six LPGA majors, including a runner-up finish at the 2013 Evian Championship.

“Lydia is an incredibly impressive young lady and an astonishing player," said Guy Kinnings, global head of golf at IMG. "She has a wonderful family support team, and we are absolutely delighted to be working for her. We will be employing all of our experience and our global resources to her benefit. Her accomplishments to date are remarkable, and IMG looks forward to helping Lydia achieve more success both on and off the course.”

Ko will be represented by IMG's Jay Burton and Michael Yim.

With her Swinging Skirts victory, Ko moved to No. 4 in the Rolex Rankings.

– Beth Ann Baldry contributed; information from IMG used in this report

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