EVIAN LES-BAINS, France – Lydia Ko looks as if she may have found her caddie.
If you’re looking for signs the 16-year-old amateur is poised to turn pro, look no farther than the man carrying her bag this week. Micky Millburn is a veteran caddie who has toted for professionals Chie Arimura and Kyeong Bae.
Through Ko’s terrific amateur run the last two years, she has made a habit of picking up local caddies familiar with the golf course she is playing, but the turn to Millburn this summer is notable. He’s a regular tour caddie, a professional whose living is hitched to the winnings of the pro for whom he’s toting.
This week marks the third time this summer that Millburn has been Ko’s caddie. Millburn was on Ko’s bag at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and the Marathon Classic.
Tina Hyon, Ko’s mother, told GolfChannel.com Friday that the family has been looking for a regular caddie as part of planning for Lydia’s future.
The Ko family is expected to huddle with Lydia’s coach, Guy Wilson, and New Zealand Golf officials to map out her future upon Lydia’s return to New Zealand next week. As a non-member of the LPGA, Ko can claim tour membership based on her victory at the CN Canadian Women’s Open three weeks ago. However, because she’s only 16, she needs a waiver of the LPGA’s rule requiring members be at least 18 before she can do so.
The question doesn’t seem to be whether Ko will turn pro in the near future, but whether she will petition the LPGA for immediate membership or defer membership to next season. It’s also possible in granting a waiver that LPGA commissioner Mike Whan could defer the waiver until Ko turns 17 in April.