Ko Jin-young ends best season with 4 awards

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Ko Jin-young ends best season with 4 awards

World No. 1 Ko Jin-young didn’t win the LPGA Tour finale, but still finished the 2019 season strong by sweeping the season-ending titles.


Ko Jin-young poses with all her awards from this season after the 2019 CME Group Tour Championship at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida on Sunday. [AP/YONHAP]

Ko hoped to pick up win No. 5 at the 2019 CME Group Tour Championships at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida, but instead finished tied for 11th at 11 under par, 277, on Sunday. However, this was still good enough for Ko to dominate the season, as she was declared the winner for the money title and Vare Trophy, awarded to the player with the lowest scoring average throughout the season.

With the completion of the final tournament, Ko topped the 2019 season official money standing, at $2,773,894, and scoring average, at 69.062.

Kim Sei-young finished second in the official money ranking after picking up a huge winning purse of $1.5 million on Sunday, taking her total to $2,753,099, while Kim Hyo-joo finished second in the scoring average, at 69.408.

“I am honored to win [these] amazing awards,” Ko was quoted as saying. “I feel relieved. But this is not the end, only the beginning. I will work even harder. I’ll rest a few weeks and then I’ll practice again.”

Prior to taking home the two awards, Ko also won the Annika Major Award and Rolex Player of the Year award, at 241 points. Ko is only the fourth Korean golfer to be named the LPGA Tour’s Player of the Year. Before Ko, Park In-bee won it for the first time in 2013, while Ryu So-yeon and Park Sung-hyun were jointly named Player of the Year in 2017.

The Annika Major Award is awarded to the player with the best performance on the Tour’s five major tournaments throughout the season.

This year, Ko dominated the major tournament, winning two - the ANA Inspiration in April and the Evian Championship in July.

In addition to her two major titles, Ko added two more victories throughout the season by winning the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in March and the CP Women’s Open in August. Ko won a total of four tournaments on the LPGA Tour, the most number of wins this season.

Along with her four wins, Ko also picked up a win on the KLPGA Tour, winning the Hite Jinro Championship in October.

Ko is only the second player after Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand last year to sweep four titles while holding the No. 1 spot.

Ko made her LPGA Tour debut in 2018 after earning her Tour card by winning the KEB Hana Bank Championship as a non-member in October 2017. As a rookie, Ko won her first official LPGA start in February 2018 at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, becoming only the second player, after Beverly Hanson in 1951, in the Tour’s history to win their debut.

BY KANG YOO-RIM [kang.yoorim@joongang.co.kr]
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