At just 17 years old, Lydia Ko is the youngest millionaire on the LPGA Tour, ever. Four professional wins and more than $1 million in earnings are accomplishments most teenagers (and adults, for that matter) can only dream of.
Ko received a hefty paycheck of $210,000 on Sunday after winning the Marathon Classic. When asked about the money in a press conference, Ko joked, "Pretty sure that goes into my mom’s account or something."
Ko is roughly 17 months younger than Lexi Thompson, previously the youngest to reach $1 million. Ko has shown incredible consistency in her rookie year on tour, making the cut in all 15 tournaments she’s entered. She has six top-10 finishes in addition to her wins, with five of those being top-fives.
Despite Ko’s impressive, record-setting earnings, she said she doesn’t think too much about money when she’s golfing.
"When they give you the check I go, ‘Oh, it’s $210,000.’ That’s big money, but when I’m out there I’m thinking about making birdies and hitting good shots and making putts rather than, ‘OK, this putt is going to give me an extra thousand,’" she told reporters.
It’s obvious that she focused on her game this weekend. The 17-year-old New Zealander prevailed after going head to head with Korea’s So Yeon Ryu at the end and forcing a playoff with a birdie on the 72nd hole and Ryu’s missed putt.
Plans for the new millionaire? She said, "I’m not going to spend $1 million and buy something like a diamond ring or whatever. Maybe I might get something electronic."
Ko has a much deserved two weeks off. "I’m excited to relax and stay in my bed and watch TV and not have to put my alarm on at 6 o’clock to come for an early tee time."