Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Girl Wonder of Golf

The Girl Wonder of Golf

Published: September 12, 2012


HOYLAKE, England — The golf prodigy Lydia Ko was asked how she would cope with being the youngest competitor this week at theWomen’s British Open, which was like asking Sean Lennon how he deals with being the son of a Beatle. The 15-year-old Ko knows no different.

At 7, she competed in the New Zealand Women’s Amateur, an event she won seven years later, before her 14th birthday. At 12, she finished tied for seventh in a Ladies European Tour event won by Laura Davies, nearly 34 years her senior. In January she became, at 14, the youngest champion on the Australian L.P.G.A. Tour with a four-stroke victory at the New South Wales Open.

Last month Ko was crowned the United States Women’s Amateur champion and became the youngest winner of an L.P.G.A. event when she turned back a Canadian Women’s Open field that included 48 of the top 50 golfers. At 15 years, 4 months and 2 days, Ko was more than a year younger than the American Lexi Thompson when she won a tour event last September.