KFC has announced it will sponsor a $10 000 golf scholarship to support the development of New Zealand’s next Lydia Ko, following the young golfer’s recent success on the world stage.
The brand, which also co-sponsored the recent annual Anita Boon Pro-Am women's tournament, will fund a scholarship for a young female professional to kick-start their career.
The scholarship was developed over recent years by the New Zealand Professional Women Golfers, who stage and co-sanction the Anita Boon Pro-Am with the Australian Ladies Professional Golf organisation.
Ko got her early start experiencing the professional game at the age of 13 years in the Anita Boon Pro-Am. This week Ko was voted Rookie of the Year, the youngest ever recipient of this accolade. She was also crowned the CME Group Tour Champion and finished first in the inaugural Race to the CME Globe points series, winning a total of $US1.5 million.
“The Anita Boon Pro-am was always one of my favourite tournaments to play when I was home," Ko said today. "I know from my own experience that there aren’t too many pro events in New Zealand for women so this tournament is really important in getting our players used to that pressure and also to give them an opportunity to get onto a main tour.”
The last recipient of the scholarship, Northland professional Caroline Bon, used the funds to help her in her successful bid to qualify for both the Asia and China Tours.
ALPG chief executive Karen Lunn is delighted with both the continued success of the tournament and the scholarship.
"It is fantastic that KFC have thrown their influence behind women’s golf in New Zealand, with their generous sponsorship of both the Anita Boon Pro-am and the KFC Golf Scholarship," Lunn said.
"Lydia Ko’s amazing recent success on the world stage has inspired a new generation of young talent in New Zealand and this financial support will provide the lucky recipient with the opportunity to either play on a professional tour or upskill their talents within the golf industry."
KFC is a strong advocate for the development of the game for young women, which links directly to their own workplace.
"We are very supportive of women's golf and with Lydia Ko doing so well on the highly competitive international stage it is great for New Zealand youth," said Russel Creedy, CEO of Restaurant Brands, owners of KFC New Zealand.
"A large number of our 4,000 employees are youth, many straight out of school, and by supporting the KFC Golf Scholarship we are supporting the development of women’s golf in New Zealand.
"I am a passionate supporter of women’s golf, which has traditionally been under-funded. With our sponsorship we will help in the search for another Lydia Ko and many more in the years to come."
Applications for the 2014 scholarship are now open with details on : http://www.nzpwg.com/apply-for-scholarship.html
CAPTION: Lydia Ko who received some professional tournament experience at the Anita Boon Pro-Am.
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