Rookie golfer Lydia Ko says she will have to learn to balance the demands of the LPGA Tour with her upcoming studies after being admitted to one of South Korea’s most prestigious universities.
The 17-year-old, who was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand at the age of six, won the US women’s tour Rookie of the Year award and has already collected five wins on the top Tour, including the Tour Championship last month.
She is to study psychology at Korea University in Seoul from next year.
“I’ll have to listen to what the university says to decide how I will do my studies,” she told Yonhap news agency in an interview on Sunday. “I’ll have to make sure I submit the required papers and projects as the majority of my classes will be done online.”
Ko had long spoken about pursuing university study before she turned professional last year, with one hope to emulate her idol Michelle Wie by studying at Stanford University in the US.
She capped a stellar season by clinching her third victory of the year in a gripping three-way playoff for the Tour Championship in Naples, Florida.
The youngest player in the elite field, Ko also claimed the circuit’s inaugural “Race to CME Globe” title and its US$1 million bonus for the biggest payday in women’s golf.
Despite being named one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people” earlier this year, Ko said she still has a long way to go.
“I heard about that, but I don’t give it too much thought,” she said of the Time ranking. “I think this is just the beginning. I still have a long road ahead of me.”
Ko, ranked third in the world, said her family had helped her cope with the demands of playing in the US.
“My mom has been always with me,” she said. “I was able to overcome the difficult times, as she was there to cook for me, pack my clothes and to talk with me.”
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