Happy Birthday, Lydia Ko!

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Ranked No. 4 in the world and the owner of two LPGA titles, it's easy to forget that Lydia Ko is only 17 years old.


Happy birthday, Lydia Ko! The golfing phenom turns 17 today. Born in South Korea and raised in New Zealand, Ko started playing golf when she was 5. In 2011, she started racking up amateur titles in New Zealand and Australia. In 2012, Ko became the youngest winner in LPGA history when she won the CN Canadian Women’s Open at the age of 15 years, 4 months, 2 days. She competed as an amateur in 16 LPGA events in 2012 and 2013, earning low amateur honors at six majors and defending her title at the CN Canadian Women’s Open in 2013. After a second-place finish at the Evian Championship in October of 2013, Ko announced she would turn pro. She made her professional debut at the 2013 LPGA Titleholders last November, the final event of the LPGA season, and finished tied for 21st. Just a few months into her rookie year, Ko is ranked No. 4 in the world and has amassed more than $235,000 in earnings. She is a student at Pinehurst School in Auckland, where she takes correspondence courses to accommodate her globetrotting schedule. Ko won't have much time for birthday celebrations today -- she opens play at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco.