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Ko Goes Pro
Sixteen-year-old golfer Lydia Ko has turned professional, announcing her 'monumental decision' on Twitter.
Ko tweeted: 'Made a monumental decision today with a little help from my @AllBlacks friend @Izzy_Dagg #LOVEGolf.' accompanied by a video of her playing a round of golf with zippy All Black winger Israel Dagg, who she claimed helped her make the call.
After forging one of the most successful amateur careers in the history of the game, rumours started two weeks ago that Ko had enquired about a special dispensation that would allow her to compete of the LPGA. Players must be 18 to play in LPGA tournaments.
The New Zealander has already foregone winnings of more than $1 million in her amateur career, including back-to-back wins at the Canadian Open, the first of which made her the youngest winner of an LPGA event.
"This is a very momentous day for Lydia and we are so thrilled that she has chosen such a unique and entertaining way to share her news with her fans today," said New Zealand Golf Chief Executive Dean Murphy sounding like a man who had just heard the news himself.
"Her amateur record ranks right up there among the greats of the game. She has won four professional titles, claimed the US and Australian Amateur titles, climbed to World No.4 on the World Rankings and has been the World No.1 amateur for more than two years without ever losing that title. That is a record that is unlikely to be matched by a 16-year-old ever again. “
Ko will play for the first time as a professional at the LPGA Tour's season-ending event in Florida.