Lydia Ko goes pro, announces in video with New Zealand's All Blacks rugby star

Stephen Dunn

The next great superstar in golf makes it official and will play for dough.

It's no secret that Lydia Ko was planning to go pro sometime this fall, filing her petition with the LPGA to grant a waiver for her to play, even though she's under the 18-year-old age requirement. Ko's mother had previously stated that she was hoping to turn pro and play in the LPGA's season finale in Naples, the CME Group Titleholders. But we had yet to hear from the 16-year-old prodigy herself.

Well, that's now over, as Ko was part of New Zealand golf video this week where she officially announced that she'll now be playing for cash. It's a long sketch bit with Israel Dagg, a star in New Zealand's most popular sport -- rugby. The video via New Zealand golf:

At 16 years old, Ko has already left more than $1 million on the table as an amateur. She's won twice on the LPGA, has four total pro wins, and is already No. 5 in the world rankings coming off a second-place finish at the Evian Masters, the fifth major.

She's already a phenom and a star, and she's going to be very successful on the LPGA. It's also cool to see the teenager show a lighter side and some personality in announcing her decision to become a pro.

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