She controlled her own fate and Jin Young Ko executed on Sunday at Tiburón Golf Club.
The 26-year-old entered the week in Naples, Fla., needing to win the CME Group Tour Championship to secure Rolex Player of the Year honors, or to finish second and have Nelly Korda to finish 10th or worse. Ko took matters into her own hands, carding a bogey-free, 9-under 63 in the final round to secure the $1.5 million winner’s share and the title of Player of the Year.
“It’s really a great honor to get Player of the Year,” said Ko. “Nelly [also] played really well, had a great year, even [won the] gold medal, win a major tournament and three other wins this year. I feel little sad to Nelly, but I was a little luckier than her, so I got the Player of the Year.”
Ko becomes the first Republic of Korea native to win Player of the Year twice (2019, 2021). Four other Koreans have captured the award: Sei Young Kim (2020), Inbee Park (2013), So Yeon Ryu and Sung Hyun Park, who shared the award in 2017.
“I didn’t know that, and I’m happy to get Player of the Year again,” Ko said. “It’s a great honor to twice get the Player of the Year. And especially since we have a lot of good players from Korea on this Tour.”