Teen No.1 Ko planning for life after golf

She's only 17 and at the pinnacle of women's golf but Lydia Ko is already planning for retirement.

The New Zealand superstar will be out to shore up her world No.1 ranking against a strong field at the co-sanctioned Women's Australian Open at Royal Melbourne starting on Thursday.

She reached the top spot earlier this month, eclipsing Tiger Woods by almost four years as the youngest golfer to achieve such a feat.

Related: Caddy's sense of humour key for Ko

But next month Ko starts an on-line psychology degree to prepare for life after golf - which she hopes starts at 30.

"I say my plan is to retire when I'm 30 so I'm not just going to go to the beach and hang out for the rest of my life," Ko said.

"There's always a second career that comes along with it and I'm trying to build up towards it and, because I'm playing a sport, psychology links well with it.

"You just never know what's going to happen."

While she may have already earnt over in $2 million in prizemoney, Ko is still a teenager who has her mum Tina travelling with her from her Florida base and telling her what to do.

She also looks up to her older sister, Sura, who has an architecture degree.

"My mum will get me off my iPad and phone and tell me to work hard and look at the text books," Ko said.

Despite the riches in the game, Ko, who moved to New Zealand from Korea when she was six, said money wasn't a driving force.

"Just having fun is my biggest goal," she said.

"When I'm having fun that's when I play the best so money isn't the most important thing."

To help keep things light she has enlisted an Australian caddy, Jason Hamilton, for his sense of humour as much as his course and club guidance.

"Bad jokes is part of my criteria," she said of her caddy prerequisite.

While expectations of winning majors will accompany her lofty status, Ko said she wasn't putting too much pressure on herself to crack one this year, only her second full season as a pro.

"Last year I had two top 10 finishes (in majors) which was better than the year before when I had one.

"I'm looking for more consistency in playing majors and then one day that will give me a chance to be around the lead."

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