DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Lydia Ko has become the youngest player to win the LPGA Tour’s rookie of the year award.
The 17-year-old Ko clinched the points-based award with three tournaments remaining on the LPGA Tour schedule. She already has two victories, two runner-up finishes and nine other finishes in the top 10.
Laura Baugh was 18 when she won the LPGA Tour rookie of the year in 1973.
Ko is No. 3 in the world ranking and No. 4 on the LPGA Tour money list with just over $1.5 million going into the Lorena Ochoa Invitational this week in Mexico.
She’s third in the Race to the CME Globe, which culminates next week in Florida with $1 million going to the winner.
Ko, of New Zealand, was born in Seoul, South Korea.
The Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award, named for LPGA Founder and LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member Louise Suggs, was established in 1962. Since its inception, nine award winners have become members of the LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame: Joanne Carner (1970), Amy Alcott (1975), Nancy Lopez (1978), Beth Daniel (1979), Patty Sheehan (1981), Juli Inkster (1984), Annika Sorenstam (1994), Karrie Webb (1996), and Se Ri Pak (1998).