|Lydia Ko receives the 2013 McCormack Medal from The R&A’s Working for Golf Ambassador, Suzann Pettersen. Pettersen, 32, and Ko, 16, finished first and second at the recent 2013 Evian Championship respectively.
Lydia Ko described it as an honour to receive the Mark H McCormack Medal as the leading women’s amateur golfer for a third year in a row.
The McCormack Medal award is presented by The R&A and the USGA, which jointly administer the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), and recognises Ko’s outstanding performance in leading the ranking again this year.
The 16-year-old New Zealander followed up her second successive victory in the CN Canadian Women’s Open on the LPGA Tour by finishing second behind Norway’s Suzann Pettersen at the recent Evian Championship to cap another successful year. Ko received the McCormack Medal from Pettersen, who is one of three R&A Working for Golf Ambassadors.
The Evian was Ko’s fifth Major Championship appearance of the season and she played in several events on the LPGA Tour as well as professional events in Asia and Australasia. She finished tied third in the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open, tied 17th in the Wegmans LPGA Championship and 25th in the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
“I am very proud and honoured to win the McCormack Medal for a third time,” said Ko. “I know there are many talented young amateurs playing at the elite level around the world so I am delighted to have finished number one in the WAGR once again.”
Pettersen praised Ko’s achievements this year. “Lydia has played brilliantly this year and shown just how good a player she is. She put me under a lot of pressure at the Evian and showed she can compete in Major Championships. To finish as the leading amateur three years in a row is a fantastic achievement and I would like to congratulate Lydia on her performance. I’m sure we will hear a lot more about her in years to come.”
“On behalf of the USGA, I extend our congratulations to Lydia on her third consecutive McCormack Medal - a feat that truly is historic,” said USGA Executive Director Mike Davis. “Her position in the WAGR is a testament to her hard work, talent and dedication, and we look forward to watching her marvellous career continue to unfold in the years to come.”
Ko’s successful 2013 continued her rich vein of form from last year when she became one of the youngest winners of a professional golf championship at the New South Wales Open on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour aged 14. She won the Australian Women’s Amateur and was runner-up in the Australian Women’s Stroke Play Championship. She also received the silver medal as the leading amateur at the U.S. Women’s Open and won the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship.
The World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), which is supported by Rolex, was established in 2007 when the men’s ranking was launched. The Men’s WAGR encompasses more than 2,900 counting events, ranking more than 6,500 players representing 100 countries worldwide. The women’s ranking was launched in 2011 and has a calendar of over 2,000 counting events with more than 3,600 ranked players representing 88 countries worldwide.
The World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR), which comprises a women’s ranking and a men’s ranking for elite amateur players, is offered by The R&A and the United States Golf Association as a global service to golf. Through incorporation and assessment worldwide of both amateur and professional events, WAGR encourages the international development of the competitive game. WAGR endeavours to be the most comprehensive and accurate ranking in golf by effectively comparing players from around the world who may never directly compete against one another. WAGR is available to national federations and organisers of amateur and professional events and tours as a criterion for tournament field selection and for purposes of exemptions, national team selection, and orders of merit.
The Mark H McCormack Medal
The award is named after Mark H McCormack, the late founder of sports marketing company IMG and an avid supporter of amateur golf. The women’s Mark H McCormack Medal is awarded to the player ranked number one in the World Amateur Golf Ranking after the U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Established in 2007, the same award goes to the player leading the men’s ranking after the European Amateur Championship or U.S. Amateur Championship, whichever concludes the last.
Men’s: 2012 Chris Williams (USA), 2011 Patrick Cantlay (USA), 2010 Peter Uihlein (USA), 2009 Nick Taylor (CAN), 2008 Danny Lee (NZL), 2007 Colt Knost (USA).
Women’s: 2012, 2011 Lydia Ko (NZL).
Based in St Andrews, The R&A organises The Open Championship, major amateur events and international matches. Together with the United States Golf Association, The R&A governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The R&A’s working jurisdiction is global, excluding the United States and Mexico.
The R&A is committed to working for golf and supports the growth of the game internationally and the development and management of sustainable golf facilities. The R&A operates with the consent of 149 organisations from the amateur and professional game and on behalf of over thirty million golfers in 135 countries.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.
The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.