Lydia Ko, the New Zealand golfer who last year became the youngest person ever to win an LPGA event, has played her way into the record books again. By successfully defending her title at the Canadian Women's Open this past weekend, Ko, who's now 16, is the only amateur to win two LPGA events.
But as The Two-Way reported last year, because of Ko's amateur status, she's unable to receive the winner's prize of $300,000. So, as happened in 2012, the money goes to the runner-up.
By firing a 6-under 64 in her final round Sunday, Ko matched the course record at Edmonton's Royal Mayfair Golf Club and erased the one-stroke lead that Sweden's Caroline Hedwall held after the third round. Ko finished the tournament 15 strokes under par — five ahead of the second-place finisher, Karine Icher of France.
Ko's consistently strong results are leading many to wonder when she'll turn pro — and stop watching those winners' paychecks going to other players. Ko is currently No. 1 in the world amateur rankings, by a wide margin.
"I've got some people above me like my mom and dad, they're the boss. They're going to help me to make the right decision and to turn pro at what time," Ko tells Golf Canada. "I think as I'm only 16 still, it's quite hard to make huge decisions. When I turn pro it's like a job. Money is all about it and everything like that, every shot counts."