Ko Petitions to Join LPGA


Lydia Ko has finally decided to turn pro. The 16-year-old South Korean-born New Zealander has asked the LPGA Tour to waive its age limit of 18 to allow her to compete as a professional.

Ko has won twice on the LPGA Tour, the Canadian Women's Open in 2012 and again this year, and has also won on the Ladies European Tour and twice on the Asian LPG Tour.

LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan was traveling to the States from Asia on Thursday and wasn't immediately available to comment.

The LPGA confirmed, however, that Whan will be the decision maker in Ko's petition. "The commissioner plans to review it," the LPGA Tour said in a statement. "The decision on the petition will be solely up to the commissioner's discretion."

The LPGA added that Whan would be contacting Ko and her family.

Two years ago, Whan granted an age-exemption to Lexi Thompson of Florida, who played in her first tournament as a pro the day before she turned 17.

Ko, the top-rated female amateur in the world, would have earned nearly $1 million this year if she had been a pro. She is not entered in this week's Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

Ko's mother, Tina Hyon, told the Golf Channel Wednesday night that her daughter would play as a pro in the LPGA Titleholders in late November in Naples, Fla., and might also enter the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico the week before the Titleholders.


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