Korean-New Zealander Lydia Ko, who recently turned professional, has been granted membership of the U.S. LPGA Tour. The 16-year-old has already appeared in 15 events on the tour over the last two years, winning two, finishing runner-up in one, and making seven top-10 finishes. She is now eligible to compete in more events next season.
LPGA Tour Commissioner Michael Whan said on Monday, "After reviewing Lydia Ko's petition, I have granted her LPGA tour membership beginning at the start of the 2014 season."
Ko, who secured four wins at professional tournaments in Australia, Europe and the U.S. as an amateur, filed a petition with the LPGA seeking a waiver of the tour's age requirement of 18 early this month. Last week, she announced via her Twitter account that she would soon be turning pro.
"It has always been my dream goal to play on the LPGA, and to play against the world's best players," said Ko. She added that she will perform well and also be faithful in her responsibilities to the tour.
Ko maintained the top spot in the amateur rankings for over 130 weeks running and is ranked No. 5 in the professional women's golf rankings. She plans to play her first event as a pro at the LPGA's season finale, the CME Group Titleholders, on Nov. 21.