Lydia Ko is the highest-ranked Kiwi in golf history
Lydia Ko is the highest-ranked Kiwi in golf history Getty Images

Teen golfer taking the sport by storm

GOLF: Teenage prodigy Lydia Ko has become the highest-ranked New Zealand player in golf history.

The 16-year-old phenomenon has jumped to No.7 in the world after successfully defending her Canadian Open title last weekend.

That puts her just one spot behind the highest-ranked Australian, world No.6 Karrie Webb.

Incredibly, Ko has played 20 fewer tournaments than Webb, and more than 40 less than world No.1 Inbee Park.

The teenager's five-stroke win at the Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Alberta made her both the youngest and second-youngest winner on the LPGA Tour. She was just 15 years and four months when she won the event last year.

Ko (pictured) is yet to miss a cut in 24 professional events, has finished as the low amateur in majors on five occasions, and in 2013 has recorded six top-five finishes.

She is ranked ahead of four former world No.1 players - Yani Tseng, Ai Miyazato, Cristie Kerr and Jiyai Shin.

Ko's next challenge is the Evian Masters in France, starting September 12, where she will attempt to become golf's youngest major winner.