Dec 21st, 2020
Ko storms to Tour Championship win
South Korean in sublime form at the LPGA finale
Photography: Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Ko finished at the top of the leaderboard at eighteen-under-par, one off the tournament scoring record, with fellow major winners Hannah Green and Sei Young Kim finishing tied for second at thirteen-under.
“I still can't believe it, that I am here. And then I won this tournament,” said an incredulous Ko, who earned a berth in the championship by virtue of her runner-up finish at the U.S. Women’s Open.
“I want to thank God. He makes my plan. Not me. I did nothing. He makes everything, so I just want to thank God and I can't believe right now.”
Although Ko started the day trailing Kim by one stroke, she quickly joined her countrywoman at the top with a birdie at the first hole. Still tied after nine holes, Ko then switched on the afterburners on the back nine with five birdies, including a perfectly paced 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th that sealed the win. With the lucrative prize now in her pocket, Ko already knows the major purchase that is first on her wish list.
“I looked (at a) house in the States until this morning because I had no money in my bank account because I send to Korea all my money,” said Ko, who is eyeing a house in Frisco, Texas, near her good friend M.J. Hur.
“So, I needed money for buy the house. But, yeah, I can buy house right now.”
With her second-place finish, Kim captured the 2020 Rolex Player of the Year honours by six points over 2013 winner Inbee Park. It was more than a worthy consolation prize for Kim, who shot an even-par 72 on Sunday to fall short of her third title of the season.
“I'm little disappointed I couldn't play well today, but I finish normal,” said Kim. “But very happy I got the Player of the Year. It's really awesome. And then, yeah, I'm very proud of her win this tournament.”
On her 24th birthday, Green made a good run at earning perhaps the best of all possible birthday presents. While not enough to take the title, a bogey-free 67 did earn the Australian major champion her only top-ten finish of the season. With a two-week quarantine ahead of her in order to return home to Perth, Green is more than happy to finish the season on a high note.
“Felt like I did some good work through quarantine with my coach. Gained some distance, so that really was nice to actually come out and see it in a tournament,” said Green.
“I wish there was an event next week because I finally feel like everything is coming together, but then again, I want to go back to Australia.”
Mina Harigae and Lydia Ko played alongside Green on Sunday, with the entire group returning bogey-free rounds. Harigae finished in solo fourth at twelve-under, while Ko and Lexi Thompson tied for fifth at eleven-under.
Danielle Kang, a two-time winner in 2020, finished with the season with a scoring average of 70.082 to claim the Vare Trophy, awarded to the player with the season’s lowest scoring average. Kang tied for 30th at –3 overall.