Golf: Ko up for breakthrough sports award

Lydia Ko
Lydia Ko
Teenage golf sensation Lydia Ko is in the running for a global award recognising the achievements of up and coming athletes.

The South Korea-born 15-year-old who now calls Auckland home has been named as a candidate for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award.

"Ko became the youngest ever winner of a professional golf event in January, when she won the NSW Open at the age of 14 years 280 days, breaking the record of Japan's Ryo Ishikawa, who was 15 years, eight months when he won his first tournament," said a statement from Laureus.

The teen has also become the youngest winner of an LPGA Tour event at the CN Canadian Women's Open, aged 15 years, four months.

Ko is up against some stiff opposition for the award, eligibility for which is not determined by age.

British tennis star Andy Murray, 25, is likely to be a frontrunner for the award for his 2012 Olympic gold medal and US Open victory.

Also in the mix are American gold medal Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, 16, 400m Olympic gold medallist athlete Kirani James, 19, from the Caribbean island of Grenada, and dual Olympic gold medal British cyclist Laura Robson.

A shortlist of six nominees, decided by a panel of sports media representatives, will be announced on December 13 at a function in Rio, with the overall winner to be named at a date to be confirmed.