With the dawn of every new LPGA Tour season comes goals, ambitions and dreams. Back in January (and once again in a few weeks) when LPGA pros jotted down objectives for the year, at the top of most lists was qualifying for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. That mission was no different for Rolex Rankings No. 1 Jin Young Ko, even in this unprecedented year.
Ko originally planned to begin her season in March at the Volvik Founders Cup to allow more time for an ankle injury—sustained at the Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA last November—to heal. Of course, the coronavirus pandemic had other plans. Instead, Ko went home to her native Republic of Korea.
As the LPGA Tour anxiously awaited its restart, Ko competed on the LPGA of Korea Tour (KLPGA). Across six tournaments, she played the weekend six times and captured four top-10s including a runner-up. The six-time LPGA winner also showcased a solid scoring average (70.83) and driving accuracy (80.36%). It was great preparation for reaching her ultimate target: the CME Group Tour Championship.
In November, Ko made her highly anticipated return to American soil at the inaugural Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging and Konica Minolta. She finished tied for 34th. Then she made the trek to Irving, Texas, for the Volunteers of America Classic, where she finished solo fifth. From there, it was her first LPGA Tour major championship of 2020 at Champions Golf Club in Houston for the 75th U.S. Women’s Open. A tie for second, highlighted by a final-round 3-under par 68, was enough for Ko to punch her ticket to Tiburón Golf Club.
“I had rest time [on Sunday] and I needed the rest. I had a great [final] round, couple of missed putts but I finished good,” said Ko, who enters the week at No. 45 in the Race to CME Globe standings. “It was my best finish at the U.S. Open so I can play this week as well. I’m really thankful. This season is too tough with coronavirus, so I want to say thanks to the USGA and all the volunteers.”