Lydia Ko in line to be youngest major winner

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 20/03/2014
Lydia Ko
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ON TARGET: Lydia Ko has been in strong form in her rookie LPGA Tour year and is playing in this weekend's tour event in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Teenage golfing superstar Lydia Ko has broken numerous records in her short but highlight-filled career.

Tomorrow the 16-year-old world No 4 begins preparations for a shot at a 146-year-old record.

Ko tees off tomorrow in the LPGA Tour's JTBC Founders Cup in Phoenix, one of two tournaments leading up to the first women's major of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship.

The record Ko has a huge chance of knocking off this year is that of Scotland's Young Tom Morris who, in 1868, became the youngest winner of a golfing major.

To put that in perspective, there have been 678 majors played – 260 women's and 417 men's – since Morris won his first major and set the record at the age of 17.

He beat his father, Old Tom Morris, by three shots to win the ninth Open Championship.

Ko has five chances to break the record.

She turns 17 next month and will be younger than Morris' 17 years and 157 days for all five women's majors this year, starting with the Kraft Nabisco in California which begins on April 3.

She will also have chances to break the record at the US Women's Open in June, the Women's British Open in July, the LPGA Championship in August and the Evian Championship in September.

But first she has this week's tournament in Arizona and the Kia Classic in California next week to prepare herself.

Ko has taken to her first full LPGA Tour season well and finished inside the top-20 in all four events as well as a second in the New Zealand Open.

And should she need any advice on how to win a major, Ko will be able to ask playing partner for the tournament's first two rounds, world No 1 Inbee Park.

Park won the Kraft Nabisco tournament last year on her way to winning the first three majors of the season.

Ko and Park will be joined by American world No 27 Jessica Korda.

AT A GLANCE

JTBC Founders Cup

Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott

Phoenix, Arizona

Field: 132

Par: 72

Yardage: 6583 (6020m)

Purse: US$1,500,000 (NZ$1,742,363)

Winner: $210,000 (NZ$243,931)

Defending Champion: Stacy Lewis (USA)

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- Fairfax Media

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