Dominant Jin Young Ko wins LPGA player of the year AND curtain closing event

The South Korean won the CME Group Tour Championship by one stroke to beat Nelly Korda to the player of the year title. 

Ben Smith's picture
Sun, 21 Nov 2021

Dominant Jin Young Ko wins LPGA player of the year AND curtain closing event

We were promised fireworks but in the end they only came from Jin Young Ko. 

The 26-year-old South Korean clinched the Rolex LPGA Player of The Year title and won the CME Group Tour Championship. 

In the end the margin of victory was by one stroke over Japan's Nasa Hataoka who put up the biggest fight on the day.

Nelly Korda finished five strokes behind Ko and with it lost the player of the year title which she looked to have sewn up. 

Ko started quickly with a birdie at the first at Tiburon Golf Club in Florida. Five more would follow on the front nine. 

Four more came on the back as she signed for a superb 9-under on the day. This was a clinical victory. 

It was a stretch in which she found 15 birdies in 31 holes as she left Korda in her wake. 

When she had finished she had found 63 greens in regulation. That's not bad. 

Ko needed at least a second place finish to have a chance to beat Korda for the player of the year gong. 

This week she shot rounds of 69, 67, 66 and closed it out in style with a 63. She reached 23-under for the week. Sensational. 

Korda, 23, was the first one to blink and uncharacteristically missed a few short putts. She could only muster a 3-under 69 on the day. 

A disappointing day for Korda, the Olympic champion who shared for sixth place in the end after reaching 17-under.

But her brilliance this year cannot be understated. Even on Sunday, she completed eight competitive rounds in a row in the 60s.

Four wins and that gold medal. She came up clutch last week to beat Lexi Thompson in a playoff. She will be back. 

Ko picks up $1.5 million for winning the curtain closing event on the LPGA Tour. 

She also won the tournament for the second year running. 

Five wins in 2021 and the first player to do so since Ariya Jutanugarn.

The South Korean is something special. 

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