December 1, 2014 / 3:33 AM / 3 years ago

Ko ready to balance Tour demands with university life

2 Min Read

Lydia Ko hits her tee shot on the 6th hole during the third round of the Wegman's Championship golf tournament at Monroe Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

SEOUL (Reuters) - Rookie golf sensation Lydia Ko says she will have to learn to balance the demands of the LPGA Tour with her upcoming studies after being admitted to one of South Korea's most prestigious universities.

The 17-year-old, who was born in Korea and moved to New Zealand at the age of six, won the U.S. women's tour Rookie of the Year award and has already collected five wins on the top tour, including the Tour Championship last month.

She will study psychology at Korea University in Seoul from next year.

"I'll have to listen to what the university says to decide how I will do my studies," she told Yonhap news agency in an interview on Sunday.

"I'll have to make sure I submit the required papers and projects as the majority of my classes will be done online."

Ko had long spoken about pursuing university study before she turned professional last year, with one hope to emulate her idol Michelle Wie by studying at Stanford University in the United States.

She capped a stellar 2014 season by clinching her third victory of the year in a gripping three-way playoff for the Tour Championship in Naples, Florida.

The youngest player in the elite field, Ko also claimed the circuit's inaugural "Race to CME Globe" title and its $1 million bonus for the biggest payday in women's golf.

Despite being named one of TIME magazine's '100 most influential people' earlier this year, Ko said she still has a long way to go.

"I heard about that but I don't give it too much thought," she said of the TIME ranking.

"I think this is just the beginning. I still have a long road ahead of me," she added.

Ko, ranked third in the world, said her family had helped her cope with the demands of playing in the United States.

"My mom has been always with me," she said. "I was able to overcome the difficult times as she was there to cook for me, pack my clothes and to talk with me."

(This version of the story has been refiled to add dropped letter 'r' in 12th paragraph, changing he to her)

Reporting by Kahyun Yang, Writing by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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