by Jeff Skinner
Lydia Ko certainly has many goals as a professional golfer. Short term goals may be playing well, making cuts and winning a few more tournaments. Long term goals may be winning major championships and reaching number one in the world. But making Time’s 100 Most Influential People In the World list probably wasn’t one of her goals at the start of the season.
Nonetheless the teenage phenom was named to the list along with 99 other people who Time thinks will make a difference in the world.
Ko, who just turned 17 yesterday, had earned four professional wins before she turned pro. After turning pro it only took two months before she won her first as a professional at last year’s Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters in Taiwan.
Ko displays a maturity and self-confidence rarely seen in one so young. Hall of Fame golfer Annika Sorenstam wrote about Ko for Time:
Lydia Ko is exceptionally talented, mature beyond her years and well liked by golf fans and competitors alike. She is responsible for sparking increased interest in our sport not just in her native South Korea and adopted homeland of New Zealand but also among juniors across the globe.
Her early, record-breaking success brings with it incredible pressure — and she’s doing a fantastic job handling the many responsibilities that accompany stardom.
Ko may be young (she is the youngest on the list and the only golfer) but she has made an impact already and she is just getting started.