She is 15 years, four months, two days old and has just secured her first victory in the LPGA. Her name is Lydia Ko, and she beat a star-studded field that included 48 of the top 50 players on tour.
Ko played solid throughout the week. She shot 68, 68 and 72 to grab a one-shot lead over Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, Jiyai Shin and Chella Choi. Then on Sunday, Ko posted a five-under 67 in to claim the title and finish with a three-stroke advantage over Inbee Park.
With her win, Ko broke Lexi Thompson's mark as the youngest player to win on the LPGA, which she set last year at the Navistar LPGA Classic at 16 years, eight months, eight days.
Furthermore, Ko is only the fifth amateur to win an official LPGA tournament. The last player that accomplished the feat was the American golfer JoAnne Carner, who secured the 1969 Burdine's Invitational.
Her win also brought her some Twitter followers. At the beginning of the tournament, 86 people were reading her updates; as of now, Ko has 783 and counting.
But make no mistake about Ko because this 15-year-old is no stranger to success. This has been a great season for a girl who has been playing golf for 10 years.
In January, she captured the Bing Lee Samsung Women's NSW Open of the ALPG Tour and became the youngest (male or female) to win a professional event at age 14. Ryo Ishikawa had held the record since 2007, when he grabbed the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at 15 years and eight months.
Ko sits atop the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking and had already played two LPGA events before her victory in Canada.
She finished tied for 19th at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open held in February; then she proved her skills at the U.S. Women’s Open, where she was one of three amateurs that made the cut and finished in a tie for 39th (lowest amateur).
A month later, Ko won the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship after defeating Jaye Marie Green, 3 and 1, in the final match.
Ko's future is bright. She does not look like a 15-year-old when she is on the course and has proven the world that she has what it takes to compete against the best players in the world. The question that many will ask is if she will turn pro soon.
After winning the U.S. Women's Amateur, Ko told Golfweek that she wanted to go to college, but after today's victory, will she think the same?
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