Jin Young Ko Takes CME Title PDF Print E-mail


(AP) Naples, Florida - Jin Young Ko missed most of the LPGA Tour

season and still won the year long money title. That's what a $1.1

million check does.

Ko, the No. 1 player in the world, put an emphatic capper on her

truncated year Sunday by shooting a final-round 6-under 66 and

winning the CME Group Tour Championship by five strokes over

Hannah Green and Sei Young Kim.

"I still can't believe it, that I'm here, that I won this tournament,"

Ko said. With a birdie on the final hole, the LPGA's final putt of the

season, Ko finished at 18 under for her seventh career LPGA win.

Green's final-round 67 - on her 24th birthday - helped push her

into the second-place tie.

Kim, who took a one-shot lead into the final round, shot 72 and

that was good enough for her to clinch Rolex Player of the Year

honors. Danielle Kang won the Vare Trophy for the lowest scoring

average. "Feels like a pretty solid accomplishment in 2020, to be

honest," Kang said.

Ko started the final round one shot back of Kim and opened with

a birdie. The key stretch was Ko's run of three straight birdies on

the 12th through the 14th - her longest such run of the week. She

left a chance for a fourth in a row just left of the cup on 15, then

all but wrapped up the win with another birdie on the 16th. The win

wrapped up a wire-to-wire year in the No. 1 spot for Ko, who has

held the ranking since July 29, 2019. She moved to $5,600,824 in

career earnings, making her the 71st player in LPGA history to

cross the $5 million mark.

Her approach Sunday was quite simple: "I just (thought), OK, 18

holes left and then go to home," Ko said. She's going back to South

Korea as a winner, too.

Ko played only four LPGA events in 2020 - she competed six times

on the Korean LPGA while riding out the coronavirus pandemic at

home - but Sunday's win and a check for $487,286 for finishing

second in last week's U.S. Women's Open helped push her season

earnings to $1,667,925. That would have been good for fifth-best

on tour last season, when each of the 21 leading money-winners

all appeared in at least 20 events.