Give her the money!
15-year old amateur golfer Lydia Ko won the LGPA's Canadian Open this past weekend. Just her final day's round was spectacular in itself. She had began with a one-shot advantage, got caught for the co-lead, and then continued to golf well to maintain control for her win. How often has the golfing world watched other new challengers fade to the pressure on a Sunday?
At 15, Ko became the youngest tournament winner in LGPA history, as well. She was also playing, legitimately, against 48 of the top 50 money winners of the 2012 season. This event was televised in Canada by CBC broadcast televison, btw.
However being an amateur meant that Ko officially forfeited her potential prize money. Hopefully she might now find herself in an enviable position to take on outside endorsement opportunities.
Yet, in a modern sports world where professional athletes routinely win Gold medals at the Olympics - Ko deserves her prize money. It could be argued that she might not have even been invited to this tournament without her separate amateur record. However she might have also played different events accordingly to otherwise pre-qualify.
Legendary Tiger Woods, btw, missed the cut when he had played the 1997 Men's Canadian Open after recently turning pro.