17-Year-Old Lydia Ko Becomes TIME’s 100 Most Influential People

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Lydia Ko, the youngest golfer ever to win a professional event, became one of TIME’s 100 most influential people, according to the weekly newsmagazine.

Ko, who celebrated her 17th birthday last Thursday, is the fifth female pro golfer to make the annual list after Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa, Yani Tseng and Michelle Wie.

On this year’s list, the Korean New Zealeander is also one of only five athletes, including tennis player Serena Williams and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, football player Richard Sherman and basketball player Jason Collins. She is one of only two teenagers alongside Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, an international symbol of education rights for girls.

“Lydia Ko is exceptionally talented, mature beyond her years and well liked by golf fans and competitors alike,” said Sorenstam, an eight-time LPGA player of the year, who did the write-up about Ko for TIME. “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.”

Ko rose to prominence as a 15-year-old phenom when, as an amateur, she became the youngest ever to win a professional golf event at the 2012 Canadian Women’s Open. She won the same event the following year and turned professional a few months later.

On Sunday, Ko won her third LPGA event at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic ahead of Stacy Lewis, an eight-time winner on the tour.