Lydia Ko is 16 years old, has two LPGA Tour wins, including a successful title defense at the CN Canadian Women's Open, four pro wins in total and is the fourth-ranked player in the world.
As of Tuesday, she is also now a professional.
The New Zealander by way of Korea announced she is a pro on Tuesday, using a video posted on YouTube to do it.
— Lydia Ko (@Lko424) October 22, 2013
Ko appears with All-Blacks rugby star Israel Dagg, playing golf together as Ko leads the way through an abbreviated round. Throughout the video, Dagg keeps asking if he can be the first to know...something. And Ko says she'll tell that something when she's ready, which is the end of the video. The something is that she's turned pro.
Why the video and not a news conference?
"This is a very momentous day for Lydia and we are so thrilled that she has chosen such a unique and entertaining way to share her news with her fans today," said New Zealand Golf Chief Executive Dean Murphy to the New Zealand Herald. "Being the special person that Lydia is, she was reluctant to hold a traditional press conference."
By remaining an amateur to this point, Ko has left over $1 million in on-course earnings on the table, though that didn't stop her from nearly winning the inaugural Evian Championship in September to become the youngest major champion in golf history. She has also kept those willing to give her millions more in endorsement money on the sidelines while she remained an unpaid golf killer.
Meanwhile, LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan has not yet announced if he'll grant a request Ko filed for a waiver to become an LPGA member despite not being at least 18 years old. She would immediately have almost three years of status on the LPGA Tour for her two wins in the last two seasons.
If Whan approves the waiver (and it's incredibly unlikely he'll refuse), then Ko will make her first LPGA start as a professional at the season-ending CME Group Titleholders in Naples, Fla., in November.