Jin Young Ko back on top in women's golf

Jin Young KoAP
Jin Young Ko has won the LPGA Tour event in her homeland South Korea with a blistering finish.
Camera IconJin Young Ko has won the LPGA Tour event in her homeland South Korea with a blistering finish. Credit: AP

Jin Young Ko is set to reclaim the world No.1 golf ranking after producing a blistering finish to win the LPGA Tour event in South Korea in a playoff.

Ko shot a final round eight-under 64 then birdied the first playoff hole to defeat fellow South Korean Hee Jeong Lim and claim the BMW Ladies Championship title in Busan on Sunday.

Ko's 11th career LPGA victory - her fourth this year - is projected to take her past American Nelly Korda into top spot on the rankings.

Ko was previously No.1-ranked from July 20, 2019, to June 27, 2021, a streak of 100 consecutive weeks, and was also No.1 for 12 weeks in early 2019.

Lim led by four strokes going into the final round, but Ko's flawless eight-birdie round allowed her to match her countrywoman at 22-under 266 as Lim shot a 68.

"I wasn't that nervous going into the playoff. I think I was feeding off the confidence I had during the round," Ko said of her first-ever playoff.

Four players were tied for third, four strokes behind Ko and Lim, including South Korean-born New Zealander Lydia Ko after a 64.

Australia's Minjee Lee was near the leaders midway through tournament but faded and a final round 71 left her tied 12th, nine shots outside the playoff.

Going into the tournament, Ko had 14 straight rounds in the 60s, tying her with Annika Sorenstam (2005) and So Yeon Ryu (2015-17) for the most in tour history.

But Ko finished with a one-under 71 on Thursday to end the streak. She's now started a new one, shooting 64-67-64 to finish the tournament.

Ko won her third title of the season at the Cognizant Founders Cup in New Jersey earlier this month, her third win in her past six starts, a stretch that includes a runner-up finish and a sixth-place finish.

And now she's back at world No.1 she aims to stay a while.

"I felt if I worked hard I might have a chance this year," said Ko." So I did return to that spot earlier than I expected. I'm going to do my best so that I can maintain that position."

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