Lydia Ko has been granted full membership of the LPGA Tour next season despite being two years short of their age requirement.
The 16-year-old New Zealander, who was born in South Korea, was the youngest player to win a professional tournament when she clinched the New South Wales Open in Sydney at the age of 14 last year.
She is the youngest champion on the LPGA Tour, having won the first of two Canadian Open titles in 2012, and the European Tour where she broke her duck at the co-sponsored ISPS Handa New Zealand Open in February.
Ko announced her decision to turn pro last week, and after hearing the news the LPGA had made an excpetion to their 18-year-old age restriction, she said: "I am very excited to become a member on the LPGA Tour. It has always been my dream goal to play on the LPGA, and play against the world's best players.
"I know that becoming a member is not only performing well, but to deal with responsibilities very well.
"Women's golf is growing day by day and I would love to be able to inspire other girls to take up the game, and go for it."