Lydia Ko donating earnings to Nepal relief effort

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Stuart Frankli/n Getty Images)

IRVING, Texas – Lydia Ko is donating her earnings this week in the LPGA Tour’s North Texas Shootout to the earthquake relief effort in Nepal.

“We had a big one in New Zealand, too, a couple years ago, and it affected a lot of people,” Ko said Wednesday “Natural disasters you can’t do much about. Sometimes it’s hard to be prepared for it, so I thought, `Those people there, nice people and very innocent.’ So, I wanted to give this tournament’s earnings and donate it to them.”

The 18-year-old Ko, ranked No. 1 in the world, successfully defended her title Sunday in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in California and leads the tour’s money list with $908,810. The winner this week will earn $195,000 from the $1.3 million purse.