Category: amateur status

August 26, 2013

Amateur Lydia Ko: I don't care about $300,000 prize

Posted at 5:04 PM by Pete Madden


Lydia Ko is getting defensive. The 16-year old rising star shot a 6-under 64 on Sunday to defend her Canadian Women's Open title and then had to defend her decision to retain her amateur status despite ever-increasing earning potential.

[Ko] bristled when asked about losing out on another $300,000 payday, the Associated Press reported.

"I don't care. I don't care," Ko said. "I can say that a couple more times, if you want."

Ko became the youngest winner on the LPGA Tour when she won the 2012 Canadian Women's Open, and with five top 10 finishes on tour in 2013 (including Sunday's victory), hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money has already fallen to her runners-up.

"You know, I've always said I'm thinking about it and that's the same answer right here," Ko told reporters.

The decision of whether and when to turn pro has bedeviled talented young golfers for decades, but modern purse sizes might have made even Bobby Jones blink. There's mounting pressure on young athletes to collect while they can, but for every Tiger Woods -- who left Stanford University behind after two years and has enjoyed all-but-unprecedented professional success since -- there's many more Colt Knosts -- who turned pro after winning the 2007 U.S. Amateur (forfeiting his invitations to the Masters, the U.S. Open, and the Open Championship) and then failed to make it out of Q School with a 2008 PGA Tour Card.

With so much at stake, at least, as Matt Richens of reported, the decision might not be totally up to her.

"I've got some people above me like my mum and dad," Ko said. "They're the boss."

(Photo: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

June 24, 2013

Golfer loses amateur status over unpaid commercial spot

Posted at 2:14 PM by Josh Sens

He didn’t get paid to appear in the commercial.

But it wound up costing him a lot.

That’s the bad news for Scott Pieri, an accomplished golfer from Fort Wayne, Ind., who has been stripped of his amateur status for his role in a short commercial spot.

As Golfweek reported Sunday, though Pieri wasn’t compensated for the appearance -- a 10-second testimonial for Golf Etc, a local club-fitting shop owned by a friend -- it was enough to put him in violation of the USGA’s rule 6-2, which lays down the do’s and don’ts for amateurs vis-a-vis promotion, advertising and sales.

Because he wasn’t paid for the appearance, Pieri thought that he was in the clear.

But, according to Golfweek, Pieri said the USGA ruled that the commercial appearance could have raised his profile enough to gain him entries into additional tournaments.

Pieri told Golfweek that he had no plans to appeal the USGA’s decision, which leaves him in an awkward spot.

The 45-year-old Pieri says that he has contemplated a run at the Champions Tour. But that opportunity remains five years off.

Meantime, he’ll have to decide whether to remain a professional or seek reinstatement as an amateur, a process he’s experienced once before.

In a prior life as a professional, Pieri Monday-qualified for three PGA Tour events and won the 2003 Indiana PGA Professional Championship. He then sought reinstatement as an amateur, a status he was granted after a two-year wait.

“I’ve been down this road before,” Pieri told Golfweek. “I wasn’t planning to go down it again. I’m going to make this as much positive as I can.”

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