Fifteen-year-old Lydia Ko will receive the Mark H McCormack Medal for the second consecutive year as the leading women’s amateur in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
The Korean-born New Zealander moved to the top of the rankings after her sensational victory in last week’s U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Cleveland’s Country Club, where she defeated 18-year-old American Jayne Marie Green 3&1 in Sunday’s final.
Ko received the inaugural medal as the top ranked women’s amateur in 2011, and has pushed on again in 2012.
In January, she won the New South Wales Open to become the youngest ever winner of a professional golf event.
This year, she has also won the Australian Women’s Amateur, finished runner-up in the Australian Women’s Stroke Play Championship, reached the semi-final of the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and received the silver medal as the leading amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open.
“I’d like to thank the USGA and The R&A because without them, the ranking wouldn’t be possible. It gets me to places where normal people can’t go, and it’s a great honour.”
The Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking – which has run concurrently with the men’s amateur ranking since 2007 – is supported by Rolex, and has a calendar of 2,000 counting events, with over 3,600 ranked players representing 88 countries worldwide.
Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, Executive Director – Championships at the R&A, said: “Lydia deserves a huge amount of credit for performing so well throughout the last two years.
“She is clearly a wonderful player and seems to be showing a great level of maturity at such a young age.”
John Bodenhamer, USGA Senior Managing Director, Rules, Competitions and Amateur Status, added: “She has accomplished so much for someone of such a young age.”
Ko rose to prominence as a twelve-year-old, finishing seventh as an amateur at the 2010 Pegasus New Zealand Ladies’ Stroke Play Championship, and in 2011, she became the first player to win the New Zealand Ladies’ Stroke Play and the Australian Ladies’ Stroke Play championships in the same year.