In The Winner's Circle with Lydia Ko

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Lydia Ko of New Zealand is doused with water in celebration of her three shot victory during the final round of the Canadian Women's Open at The Vancouver Golf Club on August 26, 2012 in Coquitlam, Canada.

CN Canadian Women’s Open
August 26, 2012

Hometown/Birthplace – South Korea/Auckland, New Zealand
Birthdate – April 24, 1997 – currently 15 years, 4 months, 2 days
Qualified for LPGA Tour – Not a member of the LPGA
Turned Professional – Amateur

Becomes the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history, eclipsing the previous mark set by Lexi Thompson, who was 16 years, 7 months, 8 days when she won the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic

Youngest winners in LPGA Tour history
Lydia Ko, 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open (72-hole event) at 15 years, 4 months, 2 days
Lexi Thompson, 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic (72-hole event) at 16 years, 7 months, 8 days
Marlene Hagge, 1952 Sarasota Open (18-hole event) at 18 years, 14 days
Marlene Hagge, 1952 Bakersfield Open (18-hole event) at 18 years, 2 months, 15 days
Paula Creamer, 2005 Sybase Classic presented by Lincoln Mercury (72-hole event) at 18 years, 9 month, 17 days
Morgan Pressel, 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship (72-hole event) at 18 years, 10 months, 9 days
Paula Creamer, 2005 Evian Masters (72-hole event), 18 years, 11 months, 18 days

Becomes the fifth amateur in LPGA Tour history to win an official event and the first in more than 40 years

Amateurs to win an LPGA event
Lydia Ko, 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open
JoAnne Carner, 1969 Burdine’s Invitational
Catherine LaCoste, 1967 U.S. Women’s Open
Pat O’Sullivan, 1951 Titleholders Championship
Polly Riley, 1950 Tampa Open

The victory is her second win at a professional event in 2012. She won the New South Wales Open on the Australian LPGA (ALPG) in January to become the youngest winner in history on a professional golf tour at the age of 14 years, 9 months and 5 days. That record was broken in June by Brooke Henderson at a CN Canadian Women’s Golf Tour 36-hole tournament.

Qualifies to represent the CN Canadian Women’s Open at the season-ending CME Group Titleholders

The CN Canadian Women’s Open is Ko’s third LPGA tournament in 2012 following the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open (T19) and the U.S. Women’s Open (T39 – low amateur)

Ko is the the top-ranked amateur in the world and reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champion.

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Fifteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko made history on Sunday becoming the youngest player to win in LPGA Tour history with a victory at the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open. Ko, who 14 days ago claimed the U.S. Women’s Amateur title, sprinted to the finish line with a back-nine 33 that included five birdies to win Canada’s national championship at the age of 15 years, 4 months and 2 days. The teenager carded a 5-under-par 67 in the final round to finish the week at 13-under-par 275, three shots ahead of Inbee Park who claims runner-up honors with a twist – she banks the $300,000 first place prize due to Ko’s amateur status.

“It's great to win, and the last few holes, it got a bit nerve‑wracking, but Stacy Lewis after my birdie on 15 she said, you know, you can do it, and it was really great to have another player that I look up to giving me that much support,” Ko said. “So it was really awesome.”

Ko entered the day with a one-shot lead over four players, including Stacy Lewis and Jiyai Shin, two players that were paired with her in the final group. Following the round, Lewis praised Ko’s poise.

“I was most impressed with just her demeanor,” said Lewis, the No. 2 player on the Rolex Rankings who tied for sixth at 7-under-par. “I mean you would have never known that it was the final round of an LPGA event. She played like she had been there before.”

The New Zealander carded seven birdies and two bogies – including the 18th hole where adrenaline got the best of her – over the final round. She didn’t look at a leaderboard until the 17th hole, at which point she had a four-stroke lead and knew the tournament was hers for the taking.

“I actually purposely looked on 17 so I could see where I was positioned, and I saw there was actually like four, five shots gap, so I kind of tried to play the 18th quite relaxed, and everything went straight, but my adrenaline got to me and it went way past the green,” she said. “(But) then I won. That's the most important part for me.”

Ko will travel back to her native Korea on Monday before trekking to Great Britain, where she will play the 2012 RICOH Women’s British Open in three weeks. She plans to maintain her amateur status for the time being.

“I'll still remain an amateur and then finish high school and then go to college in the States,” said Ko, who donated her glove from Sunday’s round to the World Golf Hall of Fame. “I mean this is a great win, but I don't think this will affect me changing my roots to my career.”

Topics: In the winners circle, Canadian Pacific Women's Open

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