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Teen prodigy Ko says no to turning pro - coach

Updated: 2013-02-19 07:55
By Agence France-Presse in Wellington ( China Daily)

New Zealand's teenage golfing sensation Lydia Ko will resist pressure to turn professional following an eye-catching performance at the Women's Australian Open, her coach said on Monday.

The 15-year-old, already the world's No 1 amateur and the youngest tournament winner in US LPGA history, came close to upsetting South Korea's Shin Ji-yai before a poor final round saw her relegated to third.

Her form at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, which included a career-best 10-under-par 63 in the opening round, has a number of pundits, including Tiger Woods's former caddy Steve Williams, calling for her to turn professional.

"There's no negative on going pro in my mind," Williams said of his fellow Kiwi, who was born in South Korea and moved to New Zealand at the age of six.

"There is nothing I can think of to suggest she shouldn't play on the LPGA Tour," he told the New Zealand Herald.

"These days she could continue to study while playing. Let's face it, she already plays a schedule where she misses plenty of school."

But Ko's coach, Guy Wilson, said the prodigy had no intention of cashing in on her growing profile and was content to remain an amateur for the time being.

"She hasn't got any new plans for it to move from being a game to a job," he told Radio New Zealand.

"In our plans, she's probably got about a year and a half to go (before turning professional)."

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