KO BREAKS THROUGH FOR FIRST WIN IN U.S.
On a day that included numerous lead changes, it was reigning Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Jin Young Ko who emerged victorious from a crowded leaderboard at the 2019 Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Ko played the weekend bogey-free to finish at -22 and earn a one-stroke victory over Jessica Korda, Nelly Korda, Carlota Ciganda and Yu Liu.
The win is Ko’s third career LPGA victory and second since becoming an LPGA Member in 2018. She is a 10-time winner on the KLPGA, but Sunday’s victory was her first ever in the U.S. The 23-year-old said she felt relieved to finally breakthrough for that first win in the United States.
“Last year I think too much, so I lose a little bit confidence,” Ko said. “But my friends told me, You can do it. Also my manager and my parents, my caddie, all people say, You can. So I got lots of confidence for this year. Really good for third win in the States, so I'm really happy.”
The win at Wildfire Golf Club was extra special for Ko with LPGA Founders Marilynn Smith, Shirley Spork and Marlene Hagge cheering her on from their usual perch on the 18th green.
“I want to say thank you to the Founders,” she said. “I wouldn't have won if there was no Founders here, because if they weren't here, we don't have a chance to win on this Wildfire Golf Course. I really want to appreciate the Founders and all the girls out here today and for the weekend.”
Rolex Rankings No. 9 Jin Young Ko (65-72-64-65)
In 2019, Ko has played four events with four cuts made, with one victory and two additional top-10 finishes
Ko is the sixth different winner of the 2019 LPGA season
She is the season’s fourth winner from the Republic of Korea, joining Eun-Hee Ji, Sung Hyun Park and Amy Yang
This is her first LPGA win in the United States, joining wins in the Republic of Korea (the 2017 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship) and Australia (the 2016 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open)
Won the 2018 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award
With her win, Ko earns $225,000; she has earned $450,159 this season and $1,609,164 for her career
RACE TO THE CME GLOBE
With her win, Ko earns 500 points and is projected to move from seventh to second in the Race to the CME Globe with 1,032 points
CME GROUP CARES CHALLENGE – SCORE 1 FOR ST. JUDE
The CME Group Cares Challenge is a season-long charitable giving program that turns aces into donations. CME Group will donate $20,000 for each hole-in-one made on the LPGA Tour in 2019, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $500,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Xiyu Lin recorded the fifth ace of the 2019 LPGA Tour season on Thursday at the par 3, 17th hole at The Wildfire Golf Club, from 142 yards with a 9-iron. It raises the total to $100,000 donated thus far in 2019.
LEADERS TOP 10 COMPETITION
The LEADERS Top 10 competition awards a $100,000 bonus to the LPGA player with the most top-10 finishes through the completion of the event held immediately prior to the CME Group Tour Championship. In the event of a tie in total top-10 finishes, the award will go to the player with the most official wins, followed by most second-place finishes, third-place finishes, etc., until the tie is broken.
Nelly Korda’s runner-up finish at the 2019 Bank of Hope Founders Cup is her fifth top-10 finish of the season as she leads the competition through the first six events of the year.