Nov 22nd, 2021
Jin Young Ko wins the CME Group Tour Championship
South Korean secures Player of the Year and a $1.5 million payday
Words: GolfPunk Photography: Getty Images
Despite battling a wrist injury that kept her off the practice range, Ko fired an incredible nine-under-par 63 to finish on twenty-three-under-par, one shot ahead of Hataoka. It equalled Ko's career-best score and set a new tournament scoring record.
The win also secured Ko her second Rolex Player of the Year award and she is the first Korean player to win the title twice. It was Ko's fifth LPGA Tour win of the year and she has now won twelve times on the tour.
"I don't have pressure on the course. I just want to better play than the other players. So, I did it, and, yeah," said Ko.
"Also, I'm happy to make like my best career score today, 63; 64 was my best score, record, but I crushed it and it's so happy."
On a day of low scoring, Nelly Korda and Celine Boutier, who had shared the overnight lead, could only find rounds of 69 and 68, respectively. Boutier finished in a share of third alongside American Mina Harigae whilst Korda slipped into a share of fifth.
Incredibly Ko hit 63 straight greens in regulation from the turn on Thursday. She dropped only one shot over those holes picking up 24 birdies. She blitzed the front nine on Sunday racing to the turn in only 30 shots.
Although Ko failed to win a major title in 2021 it has been successful with five wins and the richest prize in women's golf. As a result, the world number two now plans to take a welcome break in the off-season.
"I want to keep the golf clubs at a distance and not think about golf and get a good sleep. Just want to put potato chips in my stomach and watch Netflix," said 26-year-old Ko.
Ireland's Leona Maguire could not keep pace with the leaders, closing with a round of 70 for a share of twelfth alongside Solheim Cup teammates Anna Nordqvist and Nanna Koerstz Madsen.
England's Charley Hull finished in a share of fifteenth spot after a round of 64 with her compatriot Georgia Hall struggling on the final day; a 72 saw her drop into a share of 24th twenty-fourth on ten-under.