16-year-old golfer Lydia Ko seeks to turn professional

Oct. 10, 2013 at 1:14 PM

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Lydia Ko, a 16-year-old amateur with wins in four professional tournaments, has petitioned to join the LPGA.

Association rules set 18 as the minimum age for players to join the LPGA, although individuals may ask the commissioner for an exemption.

Ko, who will turn 17 April 24, said after she was the runner-up at the Evian Championship she plans to turn professional next year. There have been reports she wants to play as a professional in the LPGA's season-ending CME Group Titleholders.

The LPGA confirmed it had received Ko's petition and said Commissioner Michael Whan would go over the documents when he returns from Asia.

Ko, from New Zealand, is fifth in the women's world golf rankings. She's won the CN Canadian Women's Open, a tournament in the LPGA calendar, each of the last two years. She's also won her home 2013 ISPS Handa New Zealand Women's Open, which is co-sanctioned by both the Ladies European Tour and the Asian Ladies Professional Golf Tour. She has another ALPG win, also.

Ko had six Top 10 finishes on the LPGA this year. She's been the low amateur in four of the five majors on the LPGA schedule in 2013.

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