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Lydia Ko

Who is Lydia Ko?

She’s New Zealand’s best female golfer, but who is Lydia Ko? Find out more with our player profile on the Kiwi here…

 

Lydia Ko is one of New Zealand’s greatest ever golfers, with two major titles and two Olympic medals to her name.

Ko was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand with her family when she was just 4. She started playing golf a year later and soon became the best amateur in the sport. The Kiwi has topped both the amateur and professional rankings, and she won four professional titles as an amateur golfer, including becoming the youngest player to ever win a professional tournament at just 14. Ko is the only two-time winner on the LPGA Tour as an amateur.

That success has continued into her professional career, with Ko winning two major championships. Her first came at the Evian Championship in 2015, before she then made it back-to-back majors with a win at the ANA Inspiration (now the Chevron Championship) just seven months later. 

The New Zealander has a total of 27 professional titles, including 19 LPGA Tour victories. She is also the only two-time Olympic medallist in the sport of golf, having won Silver in 2016 and Bronze in 2020. With the first, she also became the youngest ever New Zealander to win an Olympic medal. 

Lydia Ko | Player Profile

Personal Information

Name: Bo-Gyung ‘Lydia’ Ko
Born: April 24, 1997
Nationality: New Zealand
Residence: Orlando, Florida, United States

Career

College: Korea University
Turned Pro: 2013
Professional Wins: 28
Highest World Ranking: 1 – February 2, 2015

Best Results In Majors

Best Finishes:
– Chevron Championship – WON (2016)
– Women’s PGA Championship – 2nd (2016)
US Women’s Open – T3 (2016)
– Amundi Evian Championship – WON (2015)
– AIG Women’s Open – T3 (2015)

Professional Wins – 28

2012 (2) – Bing Lee Samsung Women’s NSW Open, CN Canadian Women’s Open
2013 (3) – ISPS Handa Women’s New Zealand Open, CN Canadian Women’s Open, Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters
2014 (3) – Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Marathon Classic, CME Group Tour Championship
2015 (6) – ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, ISPS Handa Women’s New Zealand Open, Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, Evian Championship, Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship
2016 (5) – ISPS Handa Women’s New Zealand Open, Kia Classic, ANA Inspiration, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, Marathon Classic
2018 (1) – LPGA Mediheal Championship
2021 (2) – Lotte Championship, Aramco Saudi Ladies International
2022 (3) – Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, BMW Ladies Championship, CME Group Tour Championship
2023 (2) – Aramco Saudi Ladies International, Grant Thornton Invitational
2024 (1) – Hilton Tournament of Champions

Achievements and Awards

Mark H. McCormack Medal – 2011, 2012, 2013
Halberg Supreme Award – 2013
New Zealand Sportswoman of the Year – 2013, 2014, 2015
LPGA Vare Trophy – 2021, 2022
LPGA Rookie of the Year – 2014
LPGA Player of the Year – 2015, 2022
LPGA Tour Money Winner – 2015, 2022
Best Female Golfer ESPY Award – 2015, 2016
Race to the CME Globe – 2014, 2015, 2022
GWAA Female Player of the Year – 2015, 2022
Olympic Silver Medal – 2016
Olympic Bronze Medal – 2020

Lydia Ko | What’s In Her Bag?

Following a five-year stint with PXG, Lydia Ko now uses mainly PING clubs. She uses G430 across the top of her bag, with an LST driver and Max fairway woods. PING irons are teamed with a quartet Titleist Vokey wedges. Ko also uses the Titleist Pro V1x ball.

You can check out our full piece on what’s in Lydia Ko’s bag here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Lydia Ko

When and where was Lydia Ko born?

Lydia Ko was born in Seoul, South Korea in April 1997. Her family made the move to New Zealand when Lydia was aged just 4. Ko began playing golf a year later. 

When did Lydia Ko turn professional?

Lydia Ko turned professional in 2013 having already won several professional tournaments as an amateur golfer and making history. 

How many major championships has Lydia Ko won?

As of early 2024, Lydia Ko is a two-time major winner. She won the Evian Championship in 2015, before claiming the ANA Inspiration (now Chevron Championship) title a year later. In total, the Kiwi has won 27 professional titles. 

Ko holds aloft the ANA Inspiration trophy in 2016

Who is Lydia Ko married to?

Lydia Ko married Jun Chung in December 2022. The pair had met around two years earlier, and it was actually Ko that proposed, writing the words ‘will you marry me’ on some golf balls. 

Did you Know?

Golf’s Only Two-Time Olympic Medallist

Lydia Ko has the unique honour of being the only golfer in history to have won two Olympic medals. She took Silver in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, before taking the Bronze Medal in Tokyo at the 2020 Games. With her first medal, she became New Zealand’s youngest ever female medallist at the Olympic Games. 

Two-Year Major Form

All of Ko’s best results in major championships came in a two-year spell in 2015 and 2016. She won the Evian Championship in 2015, before winning the ANA Inspiration (now Chevron Championship) a year later. Ko also finished in the top three in each of the other three women’s majors – Women’s PGA Championship, US Women’s Open and AIG Women’s Open.

Making History at 14

WIth a win at the Bing Lee Samsung Women’s NSW Open, Lydia Ko became the youngest person to ever win a professional golf tournament, doing so at the age of 14. This is just one of a large number of records Ko holds as the ‘youngest to achieve’ in both women’s golf and professional sport. 

Amateur and Professional World No.1

Ko is one of just five golfers to have topped both the World Amateur Golf Rankings and either the Official World Golf Rankings or the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings (WWGR). She was the first woman to achieve the feat, and became the youngest woman to ever reach the summit of the WWGR. Atthaya Thitikul is the only other female player to have the double, while Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Jordan Spieth are the three men to have achieved the feat.

Other Lydia Ko Articles

Three wins and a wedding: Why Lydia Ko’s finding it hard not to be stuck in the past

How good has Lydia Ko’s career been so far? Can the Kiwi win another major? Let us know your thoughts with a post on X, formerly Twitter!

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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