Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old golf star who is currently fourth in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, signed with IMG Worldwide for management and marketing representation. Ko, who turned professional in October, won last week’s Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters.
Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in New Zealand, Ko was the top-ranked female amateur in the world for more than two years prior to turning professional. In 2012, at the age of 15 years, 4 months and 2 days, she became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history at the CN Canadian Women’s Open, eclipsing the previous mark by 15 months. She defended her Canadian Open title in 2013, becoming the first amateur in LPGA history to win two events.
Ko won four professional tournament worldwide as an amateur including the 2012 Women’s New South Wales Open on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour (ALPG), where she became the youngest tournament winner in professional golf history (at the time). She also became the youngest winner in Ladies European Tour (LET) history at the 2013 ISPS Handa Women’s New Zealand Open. Ko has earned low amateur honors at six different LPGA major championships, including a runner-up finish at the 2013 Evian Championship.
She also won the 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at The Country Club outside Cleveland and is a three-time recipient of the Mark H. McCormack Medal, presented by the R&A and the USGA, as the leading women’s amateur golf in the world.
“I am excited to work with my new team at IMG as I embark on my professional career,” said Ko. “My family and I spoke with many candidates and IMG emerged as the clear choice to represent me, in large part because of their global reach. I am comfortable knowing that IMG will commit the appropriate resources to help my career excel while I focus on golf.”
"Lydia is an incredibly impressive young lady and an astonishing player. She has a wonderful family support team and we are absolutely delighted to be working for her. We will be employing all of our experience and our global resources to her benefit," said Guy Kinnings, Global Head of Golf at IMG. "Her accomplishments to date are remarkable and IMG looks forward to helping Lydia achieve more success both on and off the course."
Ko joins a strong group of women’s golfers represented by IMG Golf in the United States, including Paula Creamer, Jessica Korda, Beatriz Recari, Michelle Wie and Jaye Marie Green, who earned medalist honors at the 2013 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament last week.