Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jin Young Ko kept up her winning ways on Sunday, carding a final-round 66 to reach -17 overall and taking a two-stroke victory at the 2022 HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. It is Ko’s sixth win in her last 10 LPGA Tour starts and sets two new benchmarks in the record books, marking her 15th consecutive round in the 60s and her 30th consecutive round under par.
|1||Jin Young Ko||-17||69-67-69-66|
|T2||In Gee Chun||-15||70-68-66-69|
“I am just proud of myself to record 60s, 15 rounds like straight. So I’m so happy,” said Ko. “I feel amazing right now.”
Early on, the day looked to belong to Jeongeun Lee6, who started the round in a tie for second with Ko, one stroke behind 54-hole leader In Gee Chun. Lee6, the 2019 U.S. Women’s Open champion, knocked in four birdies in the opening eight holes and jumped the top of the leaderboard at -15 through the front nine. Thai teen Atthaya Thitkul kept on Lee6’s heels, with five birdies in the same span to reach -14. Ko made the turn in a tie for third with Chun at -13 and admitted that the front nine at the New Tanjong Course at Sentosa Golf Club did not set up well for her game.
“I felt not comfortable with my swing in the front nine,” said Ko, who was -5 on the front nine compared to -12 on the back nine. “So I expected the back nine will be more better than front nine. So I found something and I got a lot of birdies on the back nine.”
Ko dropped a stroke with a bogey at No. 12 after mishitting a chip. “I was angry,” she said, “but I thought, yeah, I have five or six more holes, so I can get a lot of birdies.” From there, Ko roared back to life, carding birdies at 13, 14, 15 and 16 to pull into a tie with Lee6 at -16 heading to the final green.
With Ko safely on the green in two, Lee6’s chip from off the back of the green flew across into the front rough and she left her punchout well short of the hole, leading to a double bogey. With a 10-foot birdie putt that just caught the left edge of the hole, Ko captured victory in her 2022 LPGA Tour season debut.
Chun’s 3-under 69 on Sunday was just not enough to keep up with Ko’s fireworks. She ultimately finished in a tie for second with Minjee Lee, whose 9-under 63 was the low round of the tournament, just one stroke off the tournament record.
With her closing double bogey, Lee6 fell to -14 and tied with Thitikul for fifth. Brooke Henderson, Hannah Green and Amy Yang tied for sixth at -13, with A Lim Kim and Danielle Kang rounding out the top 10 at -11.
JIN YOUNG KO REWRITES HISTORY IN SINGAPORE
Jin Young Ko’s numbers are just staggering.
- Fifteen consecutive rounds in the 60s.
- Thirty consecutive rounds under par.
- Six wins in her last 10 starts.
Her last LPGA Tour round in the 70s was a first-round 71 on Oct. 21, 2021, at the BMW Ladies Championship. The 14 rounds before that? All in the 60s. Her last round above par? It came July 24, 2021, with a third-round 76 at the Amundi Evian Championship.
With a win Sunday at the 2022 HSBC Women’s World Championship, Ko continues to stake her claim as the world’s No. 1 golfer. So why in the world does the admitted perfectionist say she still has more to work on with her game? It’s that exact mentality that keeps her hoisting trophies, cashing checks and dominating competitions.
“It’s a great honor to (set the) record, it’s new record. So I probably, my next event will be (The Chevron Championship), so I need to take time before the event,” said Ko, who is heading home to Korea before competing again in three weeks at the season’s first major. “I can do practice more in the break time. So a little bit better than last couple days.”