16-year-old Lydia Ko will turn professional when she starts her next event

Shane Bacon
October 10, 2013

If there was ever a no-brainer decision for a teenager to turn professional, it is Lydia Ko, but that will all change the next time she tees it up in a LPGA event.

Ko's mother, Tina Hyon, told the Golf Channel's Randall Mell in an e-mail that Ko, the 16-year-old who become the youngest player to ever win a LPGA event at the CN Canadian Women's Open in 2012, plans to turn professional at her next event even though the family isn't sure when that will be.

Ko is scheduled to play in the CME Group Titleholders in November, but she may get in Lorena Ochoa's event in Mexico a week before the Titleholders, but Hyon said whichever event Ko plays in first will be her first professional start.

“If she plays any pro events now, she will play as a pro,” Hyon wrote GolfChannel.com.

It has been an incredible, incredible start to her career for Ko, who already has two LPGA wins and a LET win earlier this year in New Zealand. Ko is currently ranked No. 5 in the world, and would have cashed nearly a million dollars already for her efforts on the LPGA.

In 2013 alone Ko has finished outside the top-25 in only two events, making every cut and finishing in the top five in four of her 11 starts.

The process now for Ko and her family is to hope that LPGA commissioner Mike Whan waives the age requirement rule for LPGA membership, which is set at 18-years-old. Ko won't be the first person trying to get a special age exemption, as Lexi Thompson was granted full membership despite being just 16-years-old at the time, and for the tour's sake I hope Whan makes a quick decision considering the potential for a legit star on the professional golf circuit that won't turn 18 until April 24, 2015.