A Korean born and raised in New Zealand, Lydia Ko became the No. 1 ranked amateur player on April 27, 2011 at the age of 14, and occupied it for 130 consecutive weeks. In 2012, she competed in the LPGA Canadian Women’s Open as an amateur, and became the youngest player ever to win a LPGA championship.
After finishing as the runner-up in the 2013 Evian Championship, Ko filed to turn pro, and even though LPGA had a regulation that set the minimum age for professional players at 18, they decided to break the rule for this prodigy, allowing Ko to turn pro at the age of 16 year, 6 months and 5 days old.
In 2014, Ko spent her 17th birthday playing in the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, and earning her first LPGA title after turning pro, and her third LPGA championship overall.
On February, 2015, Ko became the youngest player in the history to be ranked first in the world, at the age of 17 year, 9 months and 9 days old, breaking the record previously set by Korean star Jiyai Shin. Later that year, Ko won her first major at the Evian Championship, becoming the youngest player to win a LPGA major championship. She also successfully defended her title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.
In the following year, Ko won the ANA Inspiration, her second career major championship. But later that year, Ko decided to part ways with caddie Jason Hamilton, whom she has worked with for two years. She frequently changed caddies after that, making many worried that it would affect her performance.
“I felt like I needed some change. Even though I might be the No. 1 ranked player in the world I still feel like there's a lot of aspects of my game that I can improve on,” Ko said in response to the public’s questions about her changes.
Ko has yet managed a win so far in 2017, and her decision to take a three-week break from the end of May to mid-June gave away her No. 1 ranking after 83 consecutive weeks. It remains to be seen whether the changes she has made in the meantime would allow her to take home her third title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.