Jin Young Ko created history by winning the HSBC Women’s World Championship for the sixth time in ten starts.
Ko became the first player in tour history to shoot 15 straight rounds in the 60s, tying Annika Sorenstam and So Yeon Ryu for the record. She also became the first player to shoot 30 straight rounds under par, surpassing Annika Sorenstam’s milestone from 2004 and Lydia Ko’s mark from 2014-15.
“I’m pretty pleased of myself for recording 60s 15 rounds in a row,” Jin Young Ko stated. “I’m overjoyed. “Right now, I’m feeling incredible.”
Ko shot a final-round 66 after a back-nine 32 that included five birdies in the last six holes, including one on 18. She tied for first place on the New Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club with former U.S. Women’s Open champion Jeongeun Lee6. After Lee6’s chip shot from the back of the green sailed across the front, resulting in a double bogey, Ko made a 10-foot birdie putt to win the event by two strokes at 17 under.
“I was irritated,” Ko admitted, “but I figured, hey, I’ve got five or six more holes, so I can score a lot of birdies, and par 5, it was the next hole, so I had to get the birdies, No. 13.” But 14, 15, I got – I suppose I was lucky. And 18 was as well.
“Minjee Lee’s final 63, which included 11 birdies, tied her for second place at 15 under with overnight leader In Gee Chun. Lee6 and Atthaya Thitikul, a 19-year-old LPGA rookie, tied for fourth place.
“I’d say this week has been really wonderful,” Thitikul, a four-time LET winner, remarked. “As I already stated, this has never been my A-game. But I’d say it’s good enough for me in terms of changing equipment and starting the year early with LPGA members, because then everyone is watching me and putting pressure on me.”
The last time Ko, 26, shot a round in the 70s was in the first round of the BMW Ladies Championship on Oct. 21, 2021, which she went on to win. The current No. 1 has already won 13 LPGA titles in her career, with 33 of her past 37 rounds in the 60s.
She’s 154 under par in her previous ten starts on tour, with a scoring average of 67.4.
When asked if she liked the feeling of pressure that comes with success, Ko responded she didn’t, but she did appreciate the opportunity to “experience it and genuinely develop from it.”
This is Ko’s second season-opening victory on the LPGA Tour. The first time was in the 2018 ISPS Women’s Australian Open, where she won her first LPGA tournament.
Ko’s next LPGA event will be the Chevron Championship in Rancho Mirage, California, which is the year’s first major. In 2019, she won the event, her first of two major wins that season.
As a result, Ko will miss the JTBC Classic in Carlsbad, California, as well as the event in Thailand next week. This year, she and No. 2 Nelly Korda have yet to compete in the same field.
Ko stated that she will return to South Korea to work on her swing. She completed her winter training in the Palm Springs area earlier this year.
Ko has been ranked No. 1 for 116 weeks in a row and says she never imagined she’d be this successful on the LPGA Tour. “It’s OK not to be a perfectionist,” Ko remarked when asked what advise she would give her younger self.
Despite the fact that she’s currently rewriting the record tour’s history by coming dangerously near.