Report: Ko petitions LPGA to play as pro
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Lydia Ko will play in the season-ending CME Titleholders in November as a professional, according to a report. The 16-year-old, already a two-time winner on the LPGA, hinted at such a move at the Evian Championship last month, where she finished runner-up to Suzann Pettersen.
“The next time you see me I may be a pro,” Ko had said.
Ko’s mother, Tina Hyon, told Golf Channel on Wednesday that she will play the Titleholders in Naples, Fla., and might even compete in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational the week prior.
While Ko long maintained a desire to play college golf, her tune began to change as pro titles piled up. She has left nearly $1 million on the table in prize money and stands to make even more with potential sponsors. She has won four professional events.
Ko, a native of South Korea who moved to New Zealand for golf, has been ranked as high as No. 4 in the world and is currently ranked fifth. She will need to receive permission from LPGA commissioner Mike Whan to compete on the LPGA prior to her 18th birthday. The Kiwi turns 17 on April 24.
Lexi Thompson won at age 16 and was waived through LPGA Q-School – it would seem commissioner Mike Whan would have little choice but to accept Ko’s petition to join the tour.
Ko became the youngest winner in tour history at the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open. She won the same tournament again in August on a different course.