WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- Top-ranked amateur Lydia Ko has announced her decision to turn professional at the age of 16 and after foregoing more than $1 million in potential prize money.
Ko, ranked No. 5 in the world, tweeted her decision on Wednesday, saying she made up her mind after taking advice from All Blacks rugby player Israel Dagg.
She posted on Twitter: "made a monumental decision today with a little help from my @AllBlacks friend @Izzy_Dagg #LOVEGolf."
New Zealand Golf chief executive Dean Murphy confirmed Ko's decision, saying the golfer "was reluctant to hold a traditional press conference" because she "didn't want to make a big fuss about news that had already been reported in the media."
The LPGA Tour confirmed Oct. 10 that it received a petition from Ko asking that it waive its minimum age requirement of 18.