Sep 20th, 2021
Jin Young Ko wins Cambia Portland Classic
World number two claims her ninth LPGA Tour title
Photography: Getty Images
“I really wanted to play yesterday, but we couldn't play. I tried to make a bogey-free round today, and I made it,” said Ko, whose last competition was the Tokyo Olympics in early August. “I had a lot of missed shots and I had a lot of missed chipping or something, so I had to make great par saves, but I made it.”
Ko never blinked on Sunday, starting the day with a one-stroke advantage over Gemma Dryburgh. She made her first birdie at the 7th, with her lead growing to three strokes after Dryburgh made bogeys at the 3rd and 6th, and the lead grew to five with another birdie at the 10th.
Oh and Lee kept Ko in their sights, with Lee making eagle at the 18th to pull within three at seven-under. But Ko, ever the confident putter, drained a 23-foot putt from the back of the green at the last to punctuate the win.
“I was thinking, I just make two putt. Easy. But the ball goes in, so, who knows,” she said with a laugh.
Oh and Lee both earned the best finishes of their LPGA Tour careers with their tie for second. Oh had previously finished second three times, while Lee’s previous best finish was a tie for third.
“I played with kind of a slow start and hung in there and just I holed a really good par putt on 6 and then I kind of got the round going a little bit and then stiffed one on 7,” said Oh.
“I hit it pretty good today after that. A few more putts drop then I would have been closer, but still pretty happy with how I played this whole week.”
The Cambia Portland Classic was shortened to 54 holes due to course conditions at Oregon Golf Club, which received just over 2 inches of rain since Friday night. Play was fully rained out on Saturday, with the third round beginning Sunday at 7:30 a.m. Pacific.
Ko raved about the hard work from the maintenance staff at Oregon Golf Club, who spent countless hours over the last two days working to make the course playable. “This course was really amazing, perfectly clearing, and fairways and greens are really perfect,” she said. “I can't wait to play for next year.”
Dryburgh struggled on Sunday, carding a four-over 76 and finished tied for eighth at three-under overall. European Solheim Cup star Carlota Ciganda, who played with Ko and Dryburgh in the final group, shot a one-over 73 and tied for fifth at four-under.