Lydia Ko — who last year at 15 became the youngest player to win an LPGA title but still has amateur status — will be playing her first two rounds of the LPGA Championship in a group with Michelle Wie. They tee off at 12:37 p.m. ET Thursday and 7:37 a.m. Friday.
Ko, now 16, is a native South Korean who moved to New Zealand when she was a child and represents that country. She said she’s long idolized Wie, an American of Korean descent who became famous for her youthful golf success.
Ko said when she saw Wie at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open, she immediately ran over to get Wie’s autograph. When they were playing in a group together earlier this year, Ko acknowledged a case of nerves, but she’s getting better about that.
Ko and Wie were supposed to play with Ariya Jutanugarn, who is the sister of the LPGA’s top rookie, Moriya Jutanugarn, but Ariya had to withdraw after injuring her shoulder in a fall here on the Locust Hill Country Club course this week.
Ariya, 17, is a pro but is not yet officially on the LPGA tour. However, she has played in five LPGA events this year and won almost $450,000.