Jin Young Ko cruises to CME Group Tour Championship title

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko shot a 6-under-par 66 on Sunday to cruise to a four-shot win at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla.

The top-ranked player in the world for the past 73 weeks, the 25-year-old Ko won $1.1 million, the largest purse of the year on the LPGA Tour.

Ko finished the season-ending tournament at Tiburon Golf Club at 18 under and was the only player in the 72-player field to post four rounds in the 60s.

Jin Young Ko

Fellow South Korean and defending champion Sei Young Kim tied for second place with Australia’s Hannah Green. Kim entered the final round with a one-shot lead over Ko, but offset three birdies with three bogeys during her final-round 72.

Jin Young Ko pulls away on back nine

Meanwhile, Ko birdied her first hole to erase the one-shot deficit. She also birdied the sixth hole before a bogey on No. 9. Ko then steadily pulled away with three consecutive birdies starting on the 12th hole.

Mina Harigae finished solo fourth at 12 under. She carded a 68 on Sunday to pass Lexi Thompson as the highest-finishing American. Thompson, the first-round leader, shot a final-round 70 to tie for fifth with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko (69).

Thompson failed to win at least one tournament for the first time in eight years.

Jin Young Ko secured her seventh career LPGA victory with two more birdies over her closing three holes.

It followed a tie for second at last week’s U.S. Women’s Open. Ko has earned $1.667,925 million this season despite not returning to the Tour until last month while quarantining in South Korea.

Kim, who won her first major among two wins in 2020, also won Player of the Year honors.


The next event will be the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions from Jan. 16-19. … Natalie Gulbis, the controversial recipient of a sponsor’s invitation, finished at 24-over par – nine shots behind the next highest score in the field.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)