Skip to main content

Lydia Ko: Teen prodigy on course for golfing glory after historic LPGA win

By Alexis Lai, CNN
updated 11:07 AM EDT, Mon August 27, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lydia Ko became youngest-ever winner in LPGA Tour history at Canadian Women's Open
  • Ko, 15, became LPGA tour's fifth-ever amateur champion -- its first since 1969
  • Ko also won U.S. Women's Amateur in Ohio and New South Wales open at Australian LPGA this year
  • Ko plans to maintain amateur status for time being

(CNN) -- When Lydia Ko swung to victory at the Canadian Women's Open Sunday, she became the youngest-ever winner in LPGA Tour history.

Currently the world's top-ranked female amateur golfer, Ko, 15, also became the tour's fifth-ever amateur champion -- its first since 1969.

The glove she wore during her final round will become part of the World Golf Hall of Fame's collection.

"I was most impressed with just her demeanor," fellow player Stacey Lewis told reporters in quotes carried by LPGA.com. Lewis is ranked second in the Women's World Golf Rankings.

"I mean you would have never known that it was the final round of an LPGA event. She played like she had been there before."

Only in America: Augusta admits women
Condi Rice makes history at Augusta

Ko's success followed triumphs earlier this year at the U.S. Women's Amateur in Ohio and the New South Wales open at the Australian LPGA. The latter competition saw her crowned as the youngest-ever winner of a professional golf tour event, although her record was broken in June.

However, she could not claim the US$300,000 first-place check on Sunday. As an amateur, she is not allowed to accept sponsors or prize money, relying on donations instead.

The South-Korean-born New Zealander said she plans to remain an amateur for the time being.

In addition to her blossoming golfing career, she intends to complete high school, and reportedly has her eye on attending Stanford for college.

"I mean this is a great win, but I don't think this will affect me changing my roots to my career," she told reporters.

Next up, Ko will play at the Women's British Open in September.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
ADVERTISEMENT