Category: Lydia Ko

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)

February 15, 2013

Karrie Webb to Lydia Ko: Go pro already

Posted at 1:05 PM by Samantha Glover

Former World No. 1 Karrie Webb believes 15-year-old Lydia Ko is ready to turn pro and start keeping all that money she'd win if she wasn't an amateur, according to David Barbeler's report.

When asked if her advice to Ko would be to stay amateur for a while longer and enjoy the game, Webb replied: "No, that's not my advice to her.

"Obviously she's proven that she's ready to play professional golf."

Ko, who briefly held the record as the youngest person to win a professional event after winning the NSW Women's Open last year, won the 2012 U.S. Women's Amateur and finished as the low amateur in the U.S. Women's Open in the same year. She has also recorded several victories in her native New Zealand. She has forfeited almost $500,000 in winning to keep her amateur status.

Lydia Ko tees off during the second round of the ISPS Handa Australian Open. (Lukas Coch/EPA/LANDOV)
February 12, 2013

Amatuer Lydia Ko's lost winnings approach $500,000

Posted at 3:36 PM by Cameron Morfit

Lydia_koJust 15, Lydia Ko continued to prove herself among the best women golfers in the world with a victory at last week's ISPS Handa New Zealand Women's Open.

The win moved Ko up to 30th in the world and would have been worth $41,000 but, alas, she's still an amateur. With Ko and company heading into this week's LPGA season opener at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, Golf Channel's Randal Mel takes a look at exactly how much she's leaving on the table.

As a pro, Ko would have taken home $41,000 for Sunday’s win in New Zealand (as converted to U.S. currency). Ko, however, remains an amateur and didn’t take home any of it. Last year, she left $300,000 on the table winning the CN Canadian Women’s Open. She left $19,000 on the table winning the New South Wales Open.

In 12 starts in professional events, Ko has won three times and finished second twice. Overall, as an amateur, she has "won" more than $470,000 in professional events that she hasn’t been able to collect due to her playing status.

Photo: Lydia Ko celebrates her win at the NZ Women's Open on Sunday. It was her third win in a professional event (Getty Images).

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