Jin Young Ko switched from her desire not to play at the LPGA to her current results | Golf news and tour information

by | Nov 17, 2021 | LPGA

NAPLES, Fla – Jin Young Ko and Nelly Korda have stopped each other from starting this week’s CME Group Tour Championship in the Rolex world rankings. But Ko’s reinvigorated three wins in their last six starts to challenge the world number 1 almost didn’t happen when Ko considered leaving the LPGA Tour after her grandmother passed away in March of that year.

“I would say that I don’t really want to play golf on this tour,” said Ko on Tuesday. “Yes, because if I played at KLPGA I could meet her [Ko’s grandmother]but this tour – I love this tour – but it’s too far from Korea to here, so I couldn’t get to Korea earlier than she died. This is the first time that I really don’t want to play on the LPGA Tour. “

Ko’s inability to say goodbye in person made the grief worse. She said goodbye via Facetime and couldn’t start the journey home quickly enough due to South Korea’s two-week COVID-19 quarantine policy.

Ko’s mid-2021 season reflected the internal struggle she faced. While she finally broke her first win of the year at the Volunteers of America Classic on July 4th, she got three finishes outside of the top 45 for all wins.

After a break of more than a month in South Korea with her trainer Si Woo Lee after the Olympic Games, Ko’s motivation to stay at home at the KLPGA turned into her desire to consistently find the circle of LPGA winners.

“She [Ko’s Grandma] I really want to see that I did a lot of putts, ”Ko laughed as he explained. “If I missed a lot of putts, she would call me after the tournament: ‘Why did you do that? More focus on the putting green and we did it. ‘ So I keep trying to putt hard, practicing hard for putting and I’ve won, I win a lot of tournaments. “

Ko’s run of three victories in September and October briefly brought the South Korean to her third reign at the top of the world rankings, spanning 14 consecutive rounds in the 1960s and the 200th victory by a South Korean in LPGA history. Then Nelly Korda reclaimed the # 1 title with a win in the Pelican Women’s Championship last week. The run helped Ko rediscover the form that led to two big wins out of four in the 2019 season.

“In 2019 I had a lot of confidence from the beginning of the year to the end of the season,” said Ko, “but this year is really different. Earlier this year, I had no confidence in the golf course, my swing, or my mind – everything.

“Even if she died, I really don’t want to play golf. But after that I got something after the Olympics, I played well after the Olympics. “

Ko has made it into the top six on every start since returning to the LPGA after the Olympics. Ko’s confidence from her most recent game has led her to believe she’s playing almost always to begin her title defense at the CME Group Tour Championship.

“Feels really good and my swing or game is almost perfect,” said Ko. “If I do more putts, I can win again.”