The victories keep coming back for Jin Young Ko.
After starting the day four strokes behind 54-hole leader Hee Jeong Lim, Ko rebounded with an 8-under 64, resulting in a final playoff against the four-time KLPGA winner. With a birdie on the 73rd hole, Ko took her second win in a row and the 200th victory of a Korean-born player on the LPGA Tour.
Ko said she came on Sunday to play with no regrets. “I thought when I went into the fourth round, if I did my best, I would have a chance to win.” She got off to a hot start with six birdies in her first nine holes, made the turn in 30, and brought Lim at -20. At number 11, her ball landed over the green on her second stroke, resulting in a missed par 5 birdie opportunity. But Ko ricocheted off the nearest hole with a 13-foot yardage that brought her back into focus.
“On the 12th hole, the teeing off and the putting went as I would have liked, and I think that’s why I screwed this hole. And I knew a birdie putt was really important, ”said Ko. “I felt like I didn’t know how the game would change if I didn’t succeed, so I knew that getting that shot would be very important.”
Ko eventually ended with Lim at -22, which resulted in additional holes. Lim tee off first, but Ko ultimately had the upper hand when their approach to the green landed just yards from the pin. One tap and the 26-year-old left LPGA International Busan at the age of 11.
“I wasn’t that nervous when I went to the playoffs. I think I was fed by the confidence I had during the lap, ”said Ko. “As I got down to the tee, I turned to Dave and told him this was my first playoff ever and he smiled and said ‘welcome’. And that helped me calm these nerves. “
With her fourth win of the season, Ko not only wins the Leaders Top 10, but is also expected to return to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, surpassing American Nelly Korda. Ko was # 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings from July 20, 2019 to June 27, 2021, a series of 100 consecutive weeks; At the beginning of 2019 she was also number 1 in the world for 12 weeks.
“Actually, I wasn’t too aware of the ranking. I always have the feeling that if your game is in good shape and you stick with it, you can achieve this ranking, ”said Ko. “I felt like I might have a chance this year if I keep working and working hard this year. So I got back to this place earlier than expected. I will do my best to hold this position. “
Lim’s runner-up is her third place in the 2021 season on the KLPGA. A duo of Major Champions in Lydia Ko and A Lim Kim together with KLPGA stars Da Yeon Lee and Na Rin An ended five strokes behind Ko and Lim with -17 points. Ko and Kim, together with the event winner, tied the 18-hole scoring record with 64s all round on the last day.
“My iron shots and shots into the greens were really solid. I started the first three holes well with birdies and tried to use that momentum for the rest of the day, ”said Ko, who scored her ninth top 10 result of 2021. So I feel like it’s not as low as when shooting. But to finish with a good grade on the first day after a bumpy start, I’m proud of how I’ve fought my way back over the past three days. “
In Gee Chun and Hae Ran Ryu they finished seventh with -16, while Alison Lee finished ninth thanks to a 4-under 68 and finished the week with -15. Ji Hyun Oh and Danielle Kang completed the crowd, which was 10th and higher with -14 points. Defending champion Ha Na Jang carded her lowest round of this year’s event, a 66, to jump from T30 to T14.