Ko, 16, runner-up at Evian; turning pro soon


EVIAN LES-BAINS, France – Lydia Ko is closer than ever to saying goodbye to her amateur status.

“The next time you seem me, I may be a pro,” she said after finishing second Sunday at the Evian Championship.

When exactly would that be?

“Have no idea, definitely next year,” Ko said.

Ko, just 16, would have won $297,994 as a pro with her solo second-place finish Sunday at Evian. She would have won $300,000 for her victory at the CN Canadian Women’s Open in her last start before Evian.

In 11 LPGA starts this year, Ko has left at least $934,987 on the table. Those money winnings would rank sixth on the LPGA money list. She left another $300,000 uncollected winning the CN Canadian Women’s Open last year.

Ko is flying back to New Zealand on Monday with her mother. Ko’s father, her coach, Guy Wilson, and New Zealand Golf advisers plan to meet to map out when Ko will turn pro.

Ko’s mother, Tina, told GolfChannel.com that Lydia will be turning pro “pretty soon.”

Ko is heading to New Zealand for exams. She’s in year 12 of her education, but there are 13 years to complete in New Zealand. She won’t play again until at least the CME Group Titleholders, the LPGA’s season-ending event. But that’s still up in the air.

“I've got exams, and they're meant to finish about a week before the tournament,” Ko said. “Personally, I don't want to go there with like five days of practice and just rock up at the tournament, because I don't really practice during exam time. Hopefully, I will be able to play because I missed out last year as well, at CME.”