Ko Jin-young ties for third at HUGEL Air Premia LA Open
Rolex Rankings No.1 Ko Jin-young tied for third with Hannah Green from Australia at the HUGEL Air Premia LA Open on Saturday at Wilshire Country Club with 14-under par, two points behind Canadian champion Brooke Henderson, and one point behind American runner-up Jessica Korda.
Henderson came out from under with a total score of 16-under par, surpassing Korda, leader of the first three rounds. She is the first Canadian to win on the LPGA Tour in 2021 and the first Canadian to win the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open.
Putting an end to a two-year victory drought, this is the seven-year LPGA Tour veteran’s 10th career win, the most victories for any Canadian golfer on a major professional tour.
“Unreal. It's pretty crazy,” said Henderson of her tenth victory. “To get my ninth win was such a big deal in Canada, and since then I have been just trying to chase that tenth one. To get it here, it's just — I'm just so happy and it's hard to believe.”
“I feel like I have been playing really solid golf and just haven't had the victory in what feels like a really long time now. Just to get it across the line and to have the work that Brit [Henderson's sister and caddie] and I have been putting in pay off and be able to celebrate together and get the tenth win on the LPGA Tour is really incredible.”
Saturday’s final at the Wilshire Country Club looked like it was going to be a duel between Korda and Ko as Ko started the last round second, just one shot behind the leader.
However, Henderson who had started out four shots behind in third, rocketed up the leaderboard, outdistancing the other two with consecutive birdies — she hit a 144-yard shot to three feet of the pin at par-4 11 and at par-4 12, she chipped the shot it.
While Henderson was able to make her move early on the back nine and Korda managed to score two pars, Ko bogeyed the 11th and 12th, leaving her tied with Green in third.
"Was tough," Ko said. "Wind was difficult out there [...] I couldn't focus on my game."
This was Ko’s third try for a win at the LA Open. She was a runner-up in 2018, and was tied at fifth in 2019.
A total of three Koreans are in the top-ten on the leaderboard. Ryu So-yeon tied fifth with 12-under par and Lee Jeong-eun finished seventh at 11-under par.
Park In-bee tied 15th with six-under par and Kim Sei-young tied 17th with five-under par.
The next LPGA tournament, the HSBC Women's World Championship, takes place on Thursday at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]