Lydia Ko won her first tour event as an LPGA member at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic and will move to No. 2 in the world.
She just turned 17 years old on Thursday, and the $270,000 winner’s check is a nice birthday gift to herself.
She had been the fourth-ranked player in the world on the Rolex Rankings, but she will jump over Stacy Lewis and Suzann Pettersen to claim the No. 2 spot behind Inbee Park.
Park’s last win came at the 2013 U.S. Women’s Open. If Ko continues to collect wins and top-10 finishes, she will soon catch the world No. 1.
Ko won the CN Canadian Women’s Open in both 2012 and 2013, but she was still an amateur. She turned professional last October, and her first win as a pro came at the Swinging Skirts Ladies Masters held in Taiwan in December, on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Tour.
This is her fourth top-10 finish of the year on the LPGA Tour, and with $505,000 in total earnings, she moves to No. 4 in the Race to the CME Globe.
Park, Pettersen and Lewis won all five women’s major championships in 2013 and were touted as the "Big Three" of women’s golf.
Ko is serving notice that she is a force not to be overlooked. With other young players like Jessica Korda and Lexi Thompson, the LPGA Tour has a wealth of talented players to compete with the veterans for dominance.