On July 4, a few days after leaving the top of the women’s golf rankings – Rolex Ranking, Ko Jin Young was crowned at the VOA Classic, ending 10 months without a title on the LPGA Tour.

Nelly Korda picked up the major Women’s PGA Championship and went to the top of the Rolex Rankings on June 29, ending Ko’s nearly two-year position. Two days later, Ko entered the VOA Classic with the second position in the world. The tournament took place on par71 in Colony, Texas.

After the first round, Ko took the top of the table with 63 strokes, with an eagle, six birdies on the no-bogey scoreboard. The second leg, she had to stop after six holes due to bad weather. Therefore, Ko solved the remaining 12 holes and the penultimate round on July 2. And through 32 holes on the third day of the tournament, Ko also did not bogey, including eagle hole 15 with a chip from the green with a target near the front edge of the hole.

Ko Jin Young chip from the green to score an eagle on hole 15

Ko Jin Young chips the ball from the green and scores an eagle on hole 15.

When he finished 54 holes, Ko kept the top of the table with a score of -14 and a one-stroke advantage. Right after Ko is T2 including Esther Henseleit and Matilda Castren. But in the last round, only Castren was formidable for Ko as he was still one stroke away after nine holes.

Didn’t double the difference with a birdie on the 10th hole but reverted to the old position due to a bogey on hole 11.

On hole 15, it’s Castren bogey’s turn. At that time, she was 0.9 meters away but missed the par to put it.

After this mistake, Castren was two sticks away from Ko. The Swedish player continued to close to the former world number one after birdie on hole 17. In the final stage, Castren could not birdie from the back edge of the green, 7.5 meters away. At this point, Ko ended the competition with a par from a one-meter putt. The whole game, she scored four birdies and two bogeys on the scoreboard of 69 strokes, with the last seven holes all par.

Winning the VOA Classic, Ko has not been able to regain the number one position in the world. But this victory helped her end her six months without a title across 10 LPGA Tour events. Ko’s last victory in the US arena at the closing tournament of the 2020 season – CME Group Tour Championship in December last year.

Ko kept his high form and went through all four rounds to convince himself at the VOA Classic.  Photo: AP

Ko kept his high form and went through all four rounds to convince himself at the VOA Classic. Image: AP

Ko just bought a house in Texas, about 30 minutes by car from the VOA Classic coronation point. In addition to the $225,000 bonus, the Korean golfer also received a pair of cowboy boots. “I think this pair is suitable for my feet. Besides, I just got married, so I want to take the new Cup back to display. I’ve brought all of the previous ones back to Korea,” Ko said happily at the award ceremony.

Ko was born in 1995, played professionally since 2013. Before VOA Classic 2021, she won seven LPGA Tour championships, including two majors in 2019 including ANA Inspiration and Evian Championship.

Quoc Huy

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