Ko Jin-young finishes strong to win second LPGA player of the year award

Ko Jin-young earned her second LPGA player of the year award after firing a sparkling final round nine-under 63 to defend her title at the CME Group Tour Championship in Tiburon on Sunday.

The 26-year-old South Korean ended the year on a tear, winning five of the last nine LPGA tournaments she competed in and edging American Olympic gold medalist Nelly Korda for the player of the year award.

“It’s a really great honor to get the player of the year … I’m so proud of myself,” Ko, who also took home the sport’s biggest award in 2019, told reporters.

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Ko has recently been battling a left wrist injury that kept her practices to a minimum, but one would not know it as the two-time major champion carded 23-under 265 in Tiburon.

“I didn’t practice at all for this week, not even Monday or Tuesday,” she said after earning her 12th tour victory.

“But I still played really well this week. I couldn’t believe I was hitting every shot so straight and how every putt went in. It was cool.”

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Ko began Sunday’s round in a four-way tie for the lead and ended with a one-stroke win over Japan’s Nasa Hataoka.

“I had to make a lot of birdies on the front nine, and I made it,” she said of her hot start, where she shot a 30 before making the turn.

“So I didn’t look at the score board until 12 or 13. But I knew Nelly and Nasa were playing well, so I just wanted to keep within myself and not look at the score board or the other players.”

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