Lydia Ko — Getty ImagesOne of my favorite misnomers about the professional game of golf is this thought that people can still win no matter how old they are. In reality, the game of golf is getting younger and younger and while Tiger Woods burst on the scene as a teenager, it's this current generation that is really enjoying the benefits of being really, really talented at a ridiculously young age.
We've seen the likes of Rory McIlroy, Matteo Manassero and Ryo Ishikawa on the PGA Tour, but the real example of how the game is getting young might be with Lydia Ko and the LPGA. Ko, who is 15-years-old, won her third professional tournament this past week at the New Zealand Women's Open, beating American Amelia Lewis after Lewis three-putted the final hole and Ko was able to make par to win by a shot.
Ko has now won a professional event as a 14-year-old (the New South Wales Open last January), a LPGA Tour event as an amateur (becoming the youngest to ever do so), and now a third professional title before she can even get her driver's license.
The added bonus for Ko is that while she was born in South Korea she calls New Zealand home, and winning her home tournament must have been pretty special.
And before you discount anything that Ko has done, look at some of the names that played this week in New Zealand; Alison Walshe, Christina Kim, Cheyenne Woods and Belen Mozo were all in the field, not to mention legends like Laura Davies.
I would like to sit here and say it's pretty impressive that a kid three years into her teens is able to rack up multiple professional wins but I don't even think the word "impressive" does this feat justice. Ko is doing something that has never been done in golf history. We will see if this continues next month at the Kraft Nabisco, her first attempt at that major championship on the LPGA Tour.