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Korea University Student Lydia Ko Nominated for Athlete of the Month
Lydia Ko

DAPHNE, Ala. – New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko has been nominated for the United States Sports Academy Athlete of the Month for April. The LPGA Tour’s top-rated golfer defended her title at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in Daly City, CA. The 18-year-old won in a playoff, birdieing the 2nd hole of the playoff. She carded an 8-under-par 280 for the event.

Following the selection committee’s meeting April, a total of 12 candidates – six male, six female – from eight different countries comprise the list.

The original pool of those nominated was 37 before getting pared down by a vote from a panel from the Academy’s faculty and staff.

Other female candidates are: Gwen Jorgensen, triathlete, United States; Jenna Prandini, track and field, United States; Caroline Rotich, Kenya, and Sei Young Kim, golf, South Korea, and Breanna Stewart, basketball, United States.

Male candidates are: Stephen Curry, basketball, United States; Lelisa Desisa, marathon, Ethiopia; Novak Djokovic, tennis, Serbia; Frank Kaminsky, basketball, United States; Adam Peaty, swimming, England, and Jordan Spieth, golf, United States.

One male and one female will be chosen the winners as decided by the public. Everyone is encouraged to cast their vote today on the Academy’s website, https://ussa.edu/aomnomination/athlete-of-the-month-bios/, and encourage their friends to do the same. The full ballot is listed, along with bios of what each athlete accomplished during the month of March. Voting will continue until next week.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special-mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Lydia Ko, born Bo-Gyung Ko, 24 April 1997, is a professional golfer from New Zealand who became the No. 1 ranked woman professional golfer on 2 February 2015 at age 17, making her the youngest player of either gender to be ranked No. 1 in professional golf.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, she had been the top-ranked woman amateur golfer in the world for 130 weeks when she announced she was turning professional on 23 October 2013. She became the youngest person ever to win a professional golf tour event and youngest person ever to win an LPGA Tour event.

In August 2013, she became the only amateur to win two LPGA Tour events. As an amateur she never missed a cut in 25 professional tournaments,[8] and by September 2013 had risen to fifth in the Women's World Golf Rankings in only 23 professional tournaments.

Ko began playing golf as a five-year-old when her mother took her into a pro shop at the Pupuke Golf Club on Auckland's North Shore owned by professional Guy Wilson who coached her until 22 December 2013. Ko was a seven-year-old in March 2005 when she first came to the attention of the media, for competing in the New Zealand national amateur championships.

In April 2014, Ko was named as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people. In the article, eight-time LPGA Tour Player of the Year Annika Sörenstam said Ko was "exceptionally talented, mature beyond her years and well liked by golf fans and competitors alike.

She is responsible for sparking increased interest in our sport not just in her native South Korea and adopted homeland of New Zealand but also among juniors across the globe." The same month she advanced to No 2 woman professional golfer in the world when she won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic.




 

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