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Drummond Golf oct 2020
JIN YOUNG KO DEFENDS IN SINGAPORE, CAPTURES SECOND HSBC WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE

When the skies opened up and rain poured down at Sentosa Golf Club on Sunday at 1:56pm local time, it looked like Jin Young Ko would have to wait a while to close out her title defense. But play resumed 58 minutes later, and Ko did what she does best, finishing strong with two hard-fought pars on the 17th and 18th holes to capture her 14th LPGA Tour victory and first since the 2022 edition of this event.

Ko began the final round with a two-shot lead over Nelly Korda, with whom she was playing in the final group alongside Allisen Corpuz, quickly extending it with a birdie on the par-4, 1st to move to -15. Korda rattled off back-to-back birdies on holes 3 and 4, and the pair matched birdies on the par-5, 5th, ultimately giving Ko a one-shot advantage. After Korda faltered with a bogey on the 6th, Ko grabbed another birdie on the 8th to turn in 33 and hold a three-stroke lead, but gave a shot back on No. 11, making bogey on the most difficult hole of the week. She regained her footing with a birdie on the par-5, 13th, this week’s Aon Risk Reward Challenge hole, and parred the next two before the 58-minute delay. When play resumed, Ko cleaned up her par on the 16th and ground out pars on the 17th and 18th to close out the week with a 3-under, 69, finding herself in the winner’s circle for the first time in 364 days.

“It's the most important (win). Because I had a tough year last year, and I fought with injury and not good game and mentally tough and everything, and then I won this week. So it's going to be more important to me and it's going to be big momentum for me in my life,” said Ko, who shared an emotional moment with caddie David Brooker on the final green. “I (knew) Nelly (was) behind me. I thought it was just one or two shots, so it was close. But after the delay, I rested in dining, and I saw the TV and the scoreboard, and (I had) a three-shot lead. But I had two more holes left, so, okay, let’s make par, play safe. But it was really hard to make par on 17, 18. It's a great honor to defend this title again.”

Korda fell just short of carding four consecutive 68s at the Tanjong Course on Sunday, wrapping up her week with a 3-under, 69 to finish in solo second at -15 overall. She made two bogeys and five birdies, including three consecutive birdies from holes 3 to 5, and closed her day with a final birdie on the par-4, 18th, a satisfying end to a challenging week of wet conditions and weather delays for the 24-year-old.

“Obviously, a little disappointed with today. Didn't play really well but kind of didn't really battle as much as I wanted to,” said Korda, who hit 10 of 14 fairways and 12 of 18 greens on day four. “I just made a couple kind of silly mistakes here and there. It was nice to finish with a birdie and be in contention again, be in the final group feeling the emotions and hopefully I can build off of that going into the next few events now in the States.”

Danielle Kang did her best to make a run on Sunday, firing a 4-under 68, but ultimately finished in a tie for third with Corpuz and 2022 LPGA Tour winner Ayaka Furue. Corpuz held her own in the powerhouse final group, recording a 3-under, 69 of her own with four birdies and one bogey on the card, and Furue leapt up the leaderboard with a final-round, 5-under 67 that saw her make seven birdies and two bogeys. Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko finished T31 at -5 overall with past champions Hyo Joo Kim (2021) and Stacy Lewis (2013) finishing T8 and T39, respectively. 

A LOOK AT THE CHAMPION

CATEGORY
Jin Young Ko
2023 Race to CME Globe Points List
17
2023 LPGA Tour Wins
1
2023 LPGA Tour Top 10s (excludes wins)
1
2023 Season Earnings
$317,079
Career LPGA Tour Wins
14
Career Ladies European Tour Wins
0
Career Epson Tour Wins
0
Career KLPGA Wins
11
Career LPGA Tour Top 10s (excludes wins)
34
Career Money
$10,680,535

ABOUT THE CHAMPION

Rolex Rankings No. 5, Jin Young Ko (1, 72-65-65-69)

  • She hit 8 of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens with 31 putts
  • Ko is the first player to defend their title at the HSBC Women’s World Championship; she’s the first player on Tour to defend their title since Nelly Korda last did so at the 2022 ANNIKA driven by Gainbridge at Pelican
  • Ko’s four-day total of 271 (-17) matches her 72-hole total of 271 (-17) that she shot in 2022 en route to her first HSBC Women’s World Championship victory
  • This is Ko’s fifth appearance at the HSBC Women’s World Championship; in addition to her two wins, Ko has two other top-10 finishes, a T6 that came in 2018 and a T3 that came in 2019
  • This is Ko’s second start of the 2023 season; she finished T6 at last week’s Honda LPGA Thailand
  • This is Ko’s sixth season on the LPGA Tour; she has 14 wins including two major championships (2019 Chevron Championship and 2019 Amundi Evian Championship)
  • Ko represented Korea at the 2020 Olympics, finishing T4
  • She earned LPGA Tour Membership for the 2018 season with her win at the 2017 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship
  • Ko has 11 KLPGA Tour wins
  • She won the 2021 Rolex LPGA Player of the Year and Official Money Title
  • Ko was the 2019 Rolex LPGA Player of the Year, Rolex ANNIKA Major Award winner, Vare Trophy winner and Official Money Title winner
  • She was the 2018 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year
  • Has a dog named Dae Bak
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