The 2021 LPGA Tour season seems like it has belonged to Nelly Korda – her milestones including three wins (and her first Major), a gold medal at the Olympic Games and claiming the world No.1 ranking for the first time in her career.
But Jin Young Ko’s dominant performance at the Cognizant Founders Cup on Sunday, a four-shot, wire-to-wire win over Caroline Masson at Mountain Ridge Country Club in New Jersey, serves as a reminder that the race for LPGA Player of the Year is far from over with three events left.
Ko came into the week talking about fatigue. The Founders Cup was the fourth straight tournament for the 26-year-old South Korean, and she said she was starting to feel the effects. Her play would lead you to believe otherwise, however. The most greens she missed in any round came on Sunday, when she missed just four. Her 18-under 280 total, kick-started by an opening-round 63, marked her 10th career LPGA title, earning her $US450,000 and pushing her past $US7 million in career LPGA earnings.
In the final round, Ko shot 66, her 14th consecutive round in the 60s, tying the LPGA record set by Annika Sorenstam in 2005. It isn’t the first time Ko has found herself in the company of golf’s greats in record books. In 2019, Ko broke Tiger Woods’ record for consecutive holes without a bogey. She played 114 straight holes at par or better, surpassing Woods’ record by four.
This win was Ko’s third of 2021, her first two coming at Volunteers of America Classic and the Cambia Portland Classic. The only other player to win as many times this season is Korda. Both players are in good form, suggesting the LPGA’s Player-of-the-Year race isn’t likely to be decided until the final week of the season.
PHOTO: Sarah Stier