Lydia Ko, at 17 years of age, has managed to become the LPGA’s youngest Rookie of The Year. Ko managed to clinch the point-based award while still having three tournaments left in her schedule. The New Zealand native managed to keep an impressive record with two wins, two runner-up finishes, and nine other finishes in the top 10. The last person to hold the youngest LPGA Rookie of The Year record was Laura Baugh, who won the award back in 1973 when she was just 18 years old.
2014 was Ko’s first campaign as a professional golfer in the LPGA. According to Ko, “It’s really been a dream rookie season for me. I learned so much and am glad to have achieved some of my goals along the way. It’s an honor to have my name now etched alongside such amazing players and legends of the game on the list of Rookie of the Year winners.”
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) November 12, 2014
Ko currently ranks third in both the LPGA’s Road to CME Globe points race as well as the Rolex Rankings. She also became the youngest millionaire in the LPGA, racking up $1.5 million in earnings. Ko is in Mexico this week for the Lorena Ochoa Invitational where she will be joined by Inbree Park and Stacy Lewis for Thursday’s first round.
Lydia Ko, who began playing golf at age five, became the top ranked woman amateur golfer in the world for 130 weeks prior to going pro last year. Aside from becoming the youngest LPGA Rookie of The Year, she also managed to become the youngest person to win a professional tour event back when she was 14 years old. Also worthy of note is the fact that before going pro, she’s the only amateur to ever win two LPGA tour events.
When Ko announced her decision to become a professional golfer, the LPGA waived their requirement of members being at least 18 years old to join the tour. “It is not often that the LPGA welcomes a rookie who is already a back-to-back LPGA Tour champion,” tour commissioner Mike Whan said in a statement.
— IMG (@IMGWorldwide) November 13, 2014