Lydia Ko, born 24 April 1997, is a New Zealand professional golfer who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world as of January 2023.
At 17 years, 9 months, and 9 days old, she became the youngest player of either gender to be ranked No. 1 in professional golf on February 2, 2015.
Lydia achieved a lot of success at a young age, winning many of the LPGA Tour’s youngest awards.
Until 2017, she was the youngest person (at the age of 15) to win an LPGA Tour tournament.
Early life and Education
Lydia Ko was born on April 24, 1997 in Seoul, South Korea. She grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, and began playing golf when she was five years old.
Lydia was a talented student-athlete at Auckland’s Pinehurst School.
She played golf for her high school team and won the New Zealand Women’s Amateur Championship when she was 14 years old.
At the age of 14 years, 8 months, and 18 days, she became the youngest player to win a professional golf tournament when she won the New South Wales Open on the ALPG Tour in 2012.
Ko went professional at the age of 16 in 2013 and later that year became the youngest player to win an LPGA Tour tournament when she won the CN Canadian Women’s Open.
In February 2015, at the age of 17 years, 9 months, and 7 days, she became the youngest player to attain the world number one ranking on the LPGA Tour.
Lydia Ko is a professional golfer who has won various awards throughout her career.
She became a pro at the age of 16 in 2013 and has since won multiple titles on the LPGA Tour.
Ko’s major achievements include:
- Winning two major championships: the 2015 Evian Championship and the 2016 ANA Inspiration.
- Winning 15 LPGA Tour titles, as of March 2023.
- Becoming the youngest player to reach the world number one ranking in February 2015, at the age of 17 years, 9 months, and 7 days.
- Winning the LPGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year award in 2014.
- Winning the LPGA Tour’s Player of the Year award in 2015 and 2016.
Despite some recent setbacks with her game, Ko remains one of the most accomplished golfers on the LPGA Tour and a fan favorite due to her humble personality and outstanding abilities.
She entered 22 tournaments and won three times.
She won her 17th LPGA title on January 30th at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, defeating Danielle Kang by one stroke, 274 (14 under par) to 275 in a back-and-forth fourth round.
On October 23, she won her 18th LPGA title at the BMW Ladies Tournament in Wonju, South Korea, which is about 140 kilometers (87 miles) east of Seoul.
Ko won the CME Group Tour Championship and the record $2 million first prize in November 2022.
Ko earned the season’s money championship, the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average, and the LPGA Player of the Year for 2022 with the victory.
On November 28, she reclaimed the top spot for the first time since 2017.
Nelly Korda has gone from number one to number two in the last two weeks.
Ko won the Aramco Saudi Women International in Saudi Arabia for the second time in February 2023.
The money for this Ladies European Tour event was $750,000, which was higher than the purse for all non-major tournaments on the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour combined.
Lydia Ko has always been recognized for her reserved and humble demeanor.
Several information of her personal life, however, have been publicized over the years.
Ko was born in Seoul, South Korea, but grew up in Auckland, New Zealand, where she began playing golf when she was five years old.
She is bilingual (English and Korean).
Tina Hyon and Gil Hong Ko, Ko’s parents, are both from South Korea. Her father is a mechanic, while her mother is a housewife.
Sura is Ko’s older sister.
Lydia Ko is well-known for her charity endeavors and has donated large sums of money to many charities.
She gave $100,000 to earthquake victims in Nepal in 2015, and $200,000 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund in 2017.
She is a devoted Christian who has spoken openly about her faith.
Lydia KoLydia Ko has stated that her faith helps her get through challenging moments both on and off the golf course.