Approved: Lydia Ko granted full membership on LPGA Tour

Lydia Ko
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Lydia Ko, 16, will be a full member of the LPGA for the 2014 season.
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
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Series: Golf Buzz

A couple of weeks back, we learned it was only a matter of time before 16-year-old New Zealand golf prodigy Lydia Ko would join the professional ranks.

Then, last week, Ko released a fantastic video making her jump to professional golf official.

The only question left was: Would Ko -- a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour -- be granted membership to the tour?

RELATED: Lydia Ko helps launch latest iPhone in New Zealand

The LPGA requires its members be at least 18 years old.

Golf Channel's Randell Mell explained in a report: "As a non-member winner of a tour event, Ko is entitled to claim tour membership. She could seek to claim immediate membership for the rest of 2013 and through 2014. Or, she could defer membership to next year. However, Ko can’t do either without first obtaining a waiver of the tour’s age restriction. LPGA commissioner Mike Whan holds the power to grant or deny such petitions."

Well, Ko applied for the waiver and the waiver was granted. She will be a LPGA member beginning with the 2014 season

"This decision ensures that Lydia can attend all of our LPGA rookie development sessions that take place in the early part of the year," LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said in a release. "We are looking forward to having Lydia as a full-time member for the 2014 season. It is not often that the LPGA welcomes a rookie who is already a back-to-back LPGA tour champion."

Ko is expected to make her professional debut at the CME Group Titleholders next month.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

 

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.