2015 IMPACT25 Athlete: Lydia Ko


"To be so young and so talented and to be so humble and so sweet, she's really the whole package." -- LPGA veteran Brittany Lincicome on Lydia Ko

Amazing? Best? Legendary? Badass? Truth be told, there is no adjective that accurately describes golfer Lydia Ko and her feats in 2015. Building on her phenomenal (nope, that word isn't good enough, either) LPGA rookie season, the Kiwi climbed to No. 1 in the LPGA rankings at the age of 17 (breaking Tiger Woods' record by almost four years).

She became the youngest golfer to win a major championship (the Evian Championship, where her closing round of 63 was the lowest final round in the history of women's majors), and was named the LPGA Player of the Year (again, youngest in the association's 49-year history).

Ko, now 18, also won for the second time the LPGA's Road to CME Globe, a season-long contest that comes with a $1 million prize. (Oh, she also won the most money on the LPGA Tour this year -- more than $2.8 million.)

Perhaps what's most terrifying (yep, right word) for Ko's competitors? Ko believes she can improve.

"I shot 11-under (a 61) at the New Zealand Open," she said at a year-end news conference. "I still felt like, 'Hey, I was that close to maybe shooting a 59.'"

More On Lydia Ko

• LPGA's top moments In 2015 Slideshow»

• On a day of multiple LPGA winners, Lydia Ko is the biggest Story »

• Phenoms Lydia Ko and Jordan Spieth are good for the future of golf Story »

• To understand Lydia Ko's astounding ascension, look to New Zealand Story »

• Ko Excited to be LPGA Player Of The Year Video »

• With historic win, Lydia Ko proves far beyond her 18 years once again Story »

The IMPACT25 is espnW's annual list of the 25 athletes and influencers who have made the greatest impact for women in sports. Explore the 2015 list at espnW.com/IMPACT25.