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16-year-old superstar Lydia Ko turns pro

Precocious teen prodigy Lydia Ko has confirmed she is turning pro at the tender age of just 16-years-old.

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 in recent weeks.''

''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,'' Murphy said. ''She has also been very busy studying for exams and wanted to make this announcement in a different way.''

The teen sensation petitioned the LPGA Tour to waive its age limit and allow her to turn pro.

Having already become a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour and contending in last fifth and final major championship, at the Evian Championship where she finished runner-up, this aim is not as presumptuous as one might think of a player still not old enough to drive.

Ko is preeminent on the amateur stage where she recently received the McCormack Medal as the world's leading women amateur for a third straight year.

LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan who granted Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie opportunities ahead of their minimum age requirement of 18 is the man who Ko will need to convince to waive their restrictions.

"The commissioner plans to review it," the LPGA Tour said in a statement.

"The decision on the petition will be solely up to the commissioner's discretion."

Ko would have earned almost $1 million this year had she been pro, and her mother, Tina Hyon, said that her daughter would play as a pro in the LPGA Titleholders in November in Naples, Florida. She also might play in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico.

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