Olivia Wannan at Stuff reports
Golfer Lydia Ko is asking for more taxpayer support since turning pro than she received when she was an amateur.
The 16-year-old prodigy can now reap big financial rewards from professional tournaments, as well as millions in management contracts and endorsement deals.
She pocketed NZ$181,000 for winning the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters tournament in Taiwan last year and so far this year has collected more than $280,000 in winnings.
As an amateur, she received $115,000 from High Performance Sport NZ in 2012 and $185,000 last year, chief executive Alex Baumann said.
New Zealand Golf’s application for this year is for $208,000 to pay for her coaching, physiotherapy and mental skills training.
The total includes $115,000 to pay for transport and accommodation to tournaments for Ko and her mother.
NZ Golf chief executive Dean Murphy said that, despite Ko’s new professional status, the funding was still necessary, and the application was lodged while she was still an amateur.
“There will come a time when Lydia becomes self-sufficient.
“Currently that’s not the case …
If Ko is now a professional, who says she has to return a profit for the first few years in business? ¬† ¬† Read more »