Seoul: Teenage golf sensation Lydia Ko will look to sharpen her physical and mental game next year when she plans to marry the demands of the LPGA Tour with the rigours of academia.
The 17-year-old world number three has been accepted to study psychology at one of South Korea`s most prestigious universities.
A spokesman for Korea University in Seoul said the Korean-born New Zealander would probably be enrolled as an "athlete student" allowing her more flexibility in her study schedule.
"She will be able to negotiate this with her professors," the spokesman said.
"Like other athletes enrolled in our school, she will be able to earn credits by submitting required papers and to take classes online while abroad. It`s all within the professors` discretion," he added.
Ko has been accepted to the university from a pool of foreign nationals who are ethnically Korean and completed primary and secondary education outside of South Korea.
The teenager, who moved to New Zealand at the age of six, won the 2012 and 2013 Canadian Women`s Open as an amateur, prompting the LPGA to waive an 18-year age minimum so she could join the tour this year.
Ko became the youngest millionaire in the history of LPGA after completing a remarkable 2014 season with three titles including the Tour Championship in Naples, Florida, last month.
She also clinched the circuit`s inaugural "Race to CME Globe" title along with its $1 million bonus for the biggest payday in women`s golf.
In October, she was named one of the 25 most influential teens by Time magazine along with the two daughters of US President Barack Obama.
In an interview this week with the Yonhap news agency, Ko said she would do her best to balance her playing and academic commitments next year.
"I`ll make a decision on how to do my studies after listening to what school authorities say," she said.
"I`ll faithfully present the required papers as I may have to do most of my classes online," she added.
About her life as a professional golfer, Ko said she still has "a long way to go" despite her stunning results this year.
"I think this is just the beginning. I will try to learn harder and do better," she said, attributing her successful 2014 season to her mother`s support.
"I was able to overcome difficult times thanks to my mom who has been always with me," she said.