Lydia Ko wins BMW Ladies Championship in Wonju
Lydia Ko of New Zealand won her second LPGA title of the season at the BMW Ladies Championship at Oak Valley Country Club in Wonju, Gangwon on Sunday, four strokes ahead of Andrea Lee of the United States.
With the win, Ko takes home a $300,000 winner’s check from a total purse of $2 million.
After landing tied for sixth in the opening round with four under par, she carded an eagle on the second round to tie for fifth position on Friday. With a bogeyless round on moving day, Ko tied for second on Saturday, one stroke behind the leader, then took pole position on the fourth hole on Sunday with a birdie. Her form continued throughout Sunday, reaching a 21-under-par, 267, to win the trophy.
Choi Na-yeon, who is set to retire after the BMW Championship, also had a special moment of her own on Saturday, slotting in a hole-in-one on the par-3 12th from 171 yards with a six-iron.
The soon-to-be 35-year-old will now retire after playing professional golf for 19 years. Having debuted on the KLPGA Tour in 2004, Choi retires with six KLPGA titles and nine LPGA titles under her belt.
Ko is the third winner of the BMW Ladies Championship, which became an official LPGA Tour event in 2019. The first two editions were played at LPGA International Busan in Busan. Both previous BMW Championship titles were won after grueling playoffs.
Jang Ha-na won the inaugural BMW Ladies Championship title in 2019, beating Danielle Kang of the United States in a playoff. The event was canceled due to Covid-19 in 2020.
Last year, it was world No. 1 Ko Jin-young who won the event after a sizzling competition against KLPGA favorite Lim Hee-jeong in the final round that saw the match stretch into a sudden-death playoff.
Prevailing in the playoff against Lim, Ko Ji-young took the 200th LPGA title won by a Korean golfer since Ku Ok-hee won the Standard Register Turquoise Classic on March 27, 1988.
This year, Ko Jin-young teed off for the first time in two months on Thursday after struggling with a wrist injury and failing to make the cut in her two latest tournaments, the AIG Women’s Open in the first week of August and the CP Women’s Open in the last week of August.
However, Ko Jin-young’s form still wobbled, carding an eight-over-par on Thursday and a seven-over-par on Friday. During the first round, she had three birdies and six bogies and one quintuple bogey at the par-5, 18th hitting a total of 10 strokes on the hole. Ko withdrew after the first two rounds.
The BMW Championship is the fourth-to-last event of the season and the third-to-last chance for golfers to add points to their Race to the CME Globe points standings.
The Race to the CME Globe is a season-long points competition where LPGA golfers accumulate points at every official event to enter the season-ending championship, the CME Group Tour Championship. Following the penultimate Pelican Women’s Championship in November, the CME Championship field will be set at the top 60 players in the Race to the CME Globe points standings.
BY YUN SO-HYANG [firstname.lastname@example.org]