Lydia Ko is one of Time’s 100 most influential people
By WUP Staff under LPGA
Lydia Ko

Go Ko!

Lydia Ko turned 17 on Thursday and she received quite the birthday present. Ko was named as one of Time Magazine‘s 100 most influential people in 2014, which has to take the cake as far as gifts go.

Ko was one of only five athletes named to this years list, and the only golfer. The other five athletes were: Richard Sherman (NFL), Jason Collins (NBA), Serena Williams (Tennis), and Cristiano Ronaldo (soccer).

Ko, who won two LPGA events as an amateur, joined a select group of LPGA luminaries who have graced the esteemed Time 100 list in the past, which includes Lorena Ochoa, Yani Tseng, Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam – who wrote a tribute to Ko for the magazine:

“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. Her future is very bright.”

Congrats, Lydia, and Happy (belated) Birthday!

Oh, and at this week’s Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, Ko is currently T2 at the halfway mark, trailing leader Stacy Lewis by just a shot.

–Shoshana Agus Kleinman (@Shosheak)

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)