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School of thought: Ko wants to pursue college

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Lydia Ko will play her next event as a pro, but she’s still looking at pursuing a college education.

Ko, 16, will make her pro debut at the CME Group Titleholders Nov. 21-24 at Tiburon in Naples, Fla. On Monday, she was granted a waiver of the LPGA’s rule requiring members be at least 18, with the waiver deferred to the start of next year.

In a media conference call Monday, Ko said she is in the middle of final exams and is interested in continuing her education. She’s New Zealand’s equivalent of a junior in high school. She said she has an English final-exam paper due on Friday.

“I want to go to university, so I do need to graduate high school first,” Ko said.

Michelle Wie and So Yeon Ryu both earned college degrees while playing the LPGA.

Ko said she isn’t sure how many LPGA events she will play next year, while finishing up her secondary education. She will be looking to balance academics and golf travel.

“I'm not sure about how many tournaments I'll play, because, obviously, the schedule for 2014 season isn't out yet,” Ko said. “But, yeah, it will be my last year at high school next year, and, yeah, I'm definitely going to graduate. I don't think I'll be there [at school] as much. I'll be there less. It will depend on the schedule for the 2014 season.”