KO-H SO CLOSE
It’s safe to say that Jin Young Ko loves coming to Australia. After capturing her first LPGA Tour victory as a Member when she won the 2018 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, Ko nearly pulled off the repeat win, coming up just two strokes shy of Nelly Korda.
“Many fans said, Jin Young Ko, Jin, go, go,” said Ko, who in 2018 became the first player to win in her Member debut since 1950. “I'm really happy. Thanks to the fans in Adelaide. Yeah, I'm really good.”
HSU HOPING GOOD WEEK SETS UP GOOD YEAR
Wei-Ling Hsu led after the first and second rounds but fell out of contention after a third-round 74. The 24-year-old from Chinese Taipei bounced back with a 4-under 68 on Sunday, setting her up for hopefully her best season yet.
“Last year I said my goal was like top 30 (on the LPGA Money List), and I was 31,” said Hsu, who made a career-best $630,924 in 2018 earnings. “I want to like get top 30 this year again, and then also top 50 for Rolex Ranking. So, that's my first goal right now.”
FIRST CAREER HOLE-IN-ONE FOR MACLAREN
It was a long wait for Meghan MacLaren to get her first hole-in-one. The 24-year-old from England bounced in a 9-iron from 138 yards at No. 8 to finally notch the first ace of her golfing career.
“I hit it really, really well,” said MacLaren, a Ladies European Tour winner who competed part-time on the Symetra Tour in 2018. “It wasn't one of those that you tell people about where you're like, it wasn't that good a shot. It actually was. The crowd let me know it was in.”
For her hole-in-one, CME Group will donate $20,000 to St. Jude Children’s Hospital as part of the CME Group Cares Challenge program. That news made MacLaren’s post-round smile even bigger.
“To know that that's happening, it's a pretty big bonus,” said MacLaren, a graduate of Florida International University. “I think it beats getting a car. I'm happy about that.”
Rolex Rankings No. 16 Nelly Korda (71-66-67-67, -17)
- Korda’s 72-hole score of 271 is tied for the lowest score of her LPGA Tour career; she shot 271 three times in 2017
- She hit eight of 14 fairways and 15 of 18 greens, with 29 putts
- Korda is in her third LPGA Tour season; she won the 2018 Swinging Skirts Taiwan LPGA Championship and has 13 top-10 finishes
- Korda is playing in her third ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open; she finished T40 in both 2017 and 2018
- She is the 197th player in LPGA Tour history to win at least two titles in her career
- Korda and her older sister Jessica (five wins) are one of three sets of sisters in LPGA history to both win titles, joining Annika Sorenstam (72 wins) and Charlotta Sorenstam (one win), and Ariya Jutanugarn (10 wins) and Moriya Jutanugarn (one win)
Rolex Rankings No. 10 Jin Young Ko (68-72-69-64, -15)
- Ko’s final-round 64 is tied for the lowest round of her LPGA Tour career; she shot a 64 in the final rounds of the 2018 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship and the 2018 Honda LPGA Thailand
- She hit 11 of 14 fairways and 17 of 18 greens, with 27 putts
- Ko is in her second season on the LPGA Tour; she won the 2018 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, and also won the 2017 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship as a non-Member
- Ko is playing in her second ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open; she won in 2018
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.
Meghan MacLaren recorded the second ace of the 2019 LPGA Tour season on Sunday at the par-3 eighth hole at The Grange Golf Club, from 138 yards and with a 9-iron. It raises the total to $40,000 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.
Through the first three events of the LPGA season, five players have top-10 finishes – Sarah Kemp, Nelly Korda, Azahara Munoz, Haru Nomura and Jodi Ewart Shadoff