South Korea’s Ko Jin-young defended her LPGA Founders Cup title and matched Annika Sorenstam’s record for consecutive sub-70 rounds this past Sunday.
World No 2 Ko fired a five-under-par 66 to finish on 18 under 266 after 72 holes at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, New Jersey.
“I tried to do my best this week and I did,” Ko said.
Germany’s Carolina Masson finished second on 270 after a closing 64, one off her career-low round, with American Elizabeth Szokol third on 273, one ahead of South Korean Lee6 Jeong-eun and reigning US Women’s Open champion Yuka Saso of the Philippines.
Ko, who matched her LPGA career-low round with an opening 63, captured her 10th career LPGA title and third of the year after taking the Volunteers of America Classic in July and last month’s Portland Classic.
A week after settling for a disappointing runner-up finish at the LPGA ShopRite Classic, Ko became the fifth South Korean player to reach double-digit LPGA titles.
“I was really sad last week. Last week on Sunday wasn’t good play,” Ko said. “It was very different today. The back nine this week, it was huge.”
Ko’s only major titles came in 2019 when she captured the ANA Inspiration and the Evian Championship in France.
Slogging through heavy rain that caused puddling over the final holes, Ko delivered her 14th consecutive round in the 60s to equal the LPGA one-season record run set in 2005 by Sweden’s Sorenstam.
Jin Young Ko fired a final round 66 to defend her title at the 2021 Cognizant Founders Cup! 🏆
Watch her final round highlights! 👇 pic.twitter.com/JTy5ZnYBma
— LPGA (@LPGA) October 11, 2021
The 26-year-old from Seoul will try to break the mark when she tees off again on 21 October in the BMW Ladies Championship at Busan, South Korea.
“I’m going to go back to Korea,” she said. “I still have a chance to beat Annika. I will try and do my best.”
Ko, who began the day with a four-shot lead, birdied the par-four 6th and par-five 8th, then pulled away with birdies at the par-four 12th, par-three 13th, par-five 15th and par-three 16th.
Her lead was big enough to withstand a bogey at the par-four 17th before she closed with a par at the par-five 18th.
Masson’s bogey-free round included a run of five birdies in a seven-hole span of the back nine that kept the pressure upon Ko until the last holes.
Sharing sixth were Mexico’s Gaby Lopez, Americans Jessica Korda and Lindsey Weaver and South Koreans Kim A-lim and Ryu So-yeon.
© Agence France-Presse