Morgan Tait

Morgan Tait is the NZ Herald's consumer affairs reporter.

Golf: $1m Ko's All Black swing

Teen wonder lands unique gift after becoming LPGA’s youngest female to crack US$1m.

Lydia Ko. Photo / AP
Lydia Ko. Photo / AP

Another tournament win and topping the US$1 million mark were not the only things in the bag for Kiwi golf prodigy Lydia Ko yesterday. She was also sporting new All Blacks-engraved clubs.

The North Shore 17-year-old became the youngest female player to crack the US$1 million ($1.15 million) milestone in LPGA Tour earnings when she won the Marathon Classic. The US$210,000 ($241,114) prize money brought her total winnings in New Zealand dollars to $1,219,924.

Watch the video: Ko wins, reaches $1m mark

Soon after the win in Ohio, Ko was presented with new clubs from golf brand Callaway that not only had the young star's initials in bright pink and yellow, but the name of the All Blacks in bold, black print.

The Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind wedges were emblazoned with the rugby team's name alongside the young star's initials with the "O" in her surname styled into her signature smiley faces.

"New #MD2TourGrind wedges in the bag for @MarathonLPGA champ, @Lko424. #AllBlacks," a tweet from Callaway Golf read with photos of the new clubs.

New Zealand Rugby said the brand had no official affiliation with Ko, but understood she was a fan of the team. Public affairs general manager Nick Brown said: "We were not aware of the engraving on her clubs, but we're thrilled about her latest success and are huge admirers of what she has achieved on the world stage."

When the Pinehurst School year 13 student made the announcement she was turning pro last year, she did so in a YouTube video with All Black star Israel Dagg.

Ko was unfazed by her milestone, telling journalists she "didn't know" she had become the youngest to collect such a sum.

In Ko's words

Q: Did you know this made you a millionaire on the LPGA Tour, the youngest ever?

I didn't know that ... Pretty sure that goes into my mum's account or something. When they give you the cheque I go, 'Oh, it's $210,000.' That's big money, but when I'm out there I'm thinking about making birdies and hitting good shots rather than, this putt is going to give me an extra thousand.

Q: When you started, your mum was going to give you a little allowance. The more you win is it getting bigger?

I think it's $10 per under par I shoot ... It's good. Maybe I might get something electronic.

Q. Are electronics your vice? Those are the things you like to splurge on?

When I'm off the course I like to spend a lot of time on my computer. I don't need money to spend on these huge, big things.

- NZ Herald

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