|(Golf) Teen Ko turns pro
Korean-born New Zealand golf prodigy Lydia Ko confirmed today she has turned professional and plans to make her debut in the paid ranks at next month's season-ending LPGA tour event in Florida in the US.
The 16-year-old became the youngest ever winner of a professional golf tour event in 2012, when she claimed the New South Wales Open in Australia at the age of 14.
Ko is already fourth in the LPGA rankings and has won four professional events, although she was unable to collect more than US$2 million in prize money and millions more in endorsements because she is an amateur.
She needed a special dispensation from the LPGA to turn professional, as it usually restricts membership to golfers aged 18 and over.
She announced her decision on social media, tweeting: “Made a monumental decision today'', along with a link to a video of her playing golf with All Black rugby star Israel Dagg.
“I'll do it – turn pro,'' she said in the video, adding: “I'm hoping to play a tournament in Florida in mid-November as a professional.''
Ko's coach Guy Wilson also used Twitter to confirm the news.—AFP