Jin Young Ko seems to have a knack for breaking records on the LPGA Tour. First, it was in 2019; Ko set the record for consecutive holes without a bogey with 114, which surpassed even the PGA Tour record set by Tiger Woods in 2000 (110). This week at the BMW Ladies Championship, Ko is aiming to break another record on Tour: the number of consecutive rounds in the 60s. Her final-round 66 at the Cognizant Founders Cup tied Annika Sorenstam (2005) and So Yeon Ryu (2015-17) for the most in Tour history with 14. Ko said it was on her mind that final day in New Jersey, which solidified her third victory of the 2021 season as well as her 10th career win on Tour.
“I think it served as great motivation for me on Sunday's final round. Of course that's not my sole goal. When I go on course, I focus on myself. But I think that it helps you as a player to have some motivating factors. Also, for me, I relaxed for a week, and during that week I really thought hard about what my priorities are and what my values are,” said Ko. “I will be happy to break a record and make a new record. I think it's really important for me to focus and concentrate on my game and also enjoy the game. And I think that at the end of the day, the records will be determined by how I play on the course and what kind of attitude I have.
“So the pressure is there, but I think that I can keep the pressure in check. And I also think that having that ambition, I guess, to break records and that desire is also what drives players in general to be better.”
Ko returns to LPGA International Busan after a tie for ninth finish in the first edition of the event. Coming into this year’s tournament, the Rolex Rankings No. 2 has 10 top-10 finishes through 16 events this season. Another top-10 finish this week would have her clinch the LEADERS Top 10 competition and earn the $100,000 bonus associated with winning the season-long accomplishment.
Though Ko said it’s been a “dramatic” season with some “real up and downs,” she’s already looking to claim another milestone in her young Tour career. A win in Busan would make it the 200th victory from a Republic of Korea native on Tour. “Of course it would be very nice to be the Korean player that garners the 200th win as a Korean player on the LPGA Tour,” said Ko.
Two-time major champion and countrywoman Sung Hyun Park echoed Ko’s sentiments of the honor on Wednesday. “All of a sudden the seven wins that I contributed seem all the more significant. And I think that this just shows a contribution of the players before me and their wins, and I think that has increased or enhanced the standing of Korean golf players, especially in the LPGA Tour,” said Park. “I think myself and my fellow golf players, Korean golf players are following in the footsteps of the players before me, and I really feel proud of myself and also my fellow Korean golf players.
“I think I just hope that we can go beyond the 200 to even bigger numbers, and I can say that I will do my part to get us through those numbers.”